Earlier this month, Northern Irish motorcycle medic John Hinds died in a crash while providing medical cover at a road racing meeting outside of Dublin. Through his work, the 35-year old was known as the “flying doctor” of Irish motorcycle sport. His family said that it could take months to set up a helicopter fund, but added that they “passionately believe” in the late doctor’s dream. To date, more than 50,000 people have signed a petition that calls on Northern Ireland’s health ministry to establish an air ambulance to honor Dr. Hinds.
Originally from the small town of Portaferry, Hinds had been a high-profile campaigner for a dedicated emergency helicopter service. For his day job, he worked as a consultant at Craigavon Area Hospital, but volunteered at weekends as a motorcycling medic on Ireland’s road-racing circuit. Just weeks before his death, he told the BBC that an air service was essential for treating trauma. In a public letter published today, his family said that they “passionately” believe in maintaining his dream that Northern Ireland should have a first-rate trauma network with a doctor-led helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) at its core to help improve survival rates and save lives.
After his fatal accident at the Skerries 100 practice session on the 4th of July, motorcyclists formed a convoy along the motorway from Dublin to Belfast as his remains were returned to Northern Ireland. The online petition following his death calls for establishing a dedicated air ambulance in Northern Ireland as a “lasting tribute for an exceptional man”. His family has also asked the public to donate blood in his honor, while preparations are taking place to launch an official trust or charity fund.