Pioneering children’s ambulance service expands fleet with new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis.
You may have seen a distinctive BUMBLEance on the road. It started as the brainchild of Mary and Tony Heffernan to provide a dedicated ambulance service for younger patients to take their minds off the seriousness of their journey. The first vehicle went into service in 2013 and the fleet has continued to grow since then.
Over the years, the BUMBLEance fleet has gone on to provide more than 14,000 trips along with a range of support to sick children nationwide, for free. Along with the cartoon-style bumblebee exterior graphics, the interior is packed with fun elements, in addition to the standard medical equipment. Online and interactive features and Wi-Fi onboard can help make the journey that bit easier for younger patients as they travel between home and treatment centres around the country.
A fitting tribute for the latest ambulance
The BUMBLEance fleet is part of The Saoirse Foundation that is a charity founded by the Heffernans in 2010 after their daughter, Saoirse, was diagnosed with the rare and fatal neurological condition, Batten Disease. The Heffernans also lost their son Liam to Batten Disease in 2014, aged five. So, rather poignantly, this 16th BUMBLEance enters service on what would have been Saoirse’s 16th birthday.
Commenting at its launch, Mary and Tony Heffernan said,
“It’s an absolute honour to remember Saoirse in this special way. Little did we know that on what should have been our daughter’s 16th birthday, we would be launching our 16th BUMBLEance instead. Saoirse’s memory is a driving force that helps us to continue to work with the dedicated teams across Ireland, proactively caring for and supporting sick children in the most tangible way.”
Fergus Conheady, Sales Manager for Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles, said:
“BUMBLEance is one of the most worthy projects that Mercedes-Benz is proud to have been involved in from its inception.”
You can help the BUMBLEance service by donating a litre of fuel by texting ‘Fuel’ to 50300.