There are many helicopters up in the air on above Ireland. Private helicopter companies renting out helicopters for sightseeing shares the space with helicopters belonging to the health care, the police or the fire fighting institutions. Apart from this, the Irish military has several types of helicopters.
In the Irish military you can find the Airbus Helicopters H135, which is also known as the Eurocopter EC135 before the helicopter company was bought up by Airbus. The Airbus Helicopters H135 is a versatile and very popular helicopter, especially when it comes to medical emergency services. Over a 1000 helicopters have been sold world-wide and half of them have had a medical configuration.
It is a light helicopter but has space for people and equipment, many times it is configured for medical services with intensive care stations and possibility to do a variety of medical procedures. There are also helicopters with extra equipment such as external loudspeakers and strong lights for searching through big areas, which are suitable for the police in their law enforcement practice. There is also more combat-capable variants of this helicopter.
Another helicopter used in the Irish fleet is the AgustaWestland AW139. This is a very fast helicopter which has been produced in more than 770 copies and is used in many medical emergency services around the world. With the medical equipment and medical staff and patients inside, the AW139 can do 315 km/h. This means that the Emergency Medical Services in Ireland (EMS) can reach almost any part of the island from their base in Athlone in no more than 30 minutes.
It is common that the military and the civil emergency services collaborate and this is the case in Ireland with the Defence Forces and the National Ambulance Service. The helicopters in the Defence Forces play an important role in making the transport from the accident to the hospital the fastest possible.