19 September 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Labour Councillor for Swords Duncan Smith and Cork City Local Area Representative* Peter Horgan have both called for an investigation into media reports as to how a Swords based ambulance was dispatched to Cork City.
“As part of the local Community First Responders group in Swords, I am aware of the pressures on the local HSE ambulance service having to service Meath, Louth and sometimes Cavan or Monaghan but I have never heard of an ambulance from Swords having to be sent to Cork, a county with such a major population centre of its own,” said Cllr Smith.
“This is incredibly worrying to see just how stretched the ambulance services are across the country. A fast response time by trained paramedics can be the difference between life and death and resources need to be allocated in this area”
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show more than a third of all vehicles that answered emergency calls to the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in Cork county were not based within the area where the emergency arose.
“We expect the HSE to manage the National Ambulance Service effectively,” said Mr Horgan.
“For something like this to happen not only undermines public confidence in the health system overall, it makes a mockery of those at the frontline working as trained paramedics in the ambulance service.”
Both Cllr Smith and Mr Horgan confirmed they would be asking Health Spokesperson Alan Kelly to raise this as a matter of urgency with the HSE.
* A Local Area rep is a person who has been appointed by a Political Party for an area. Many are later formally proposed by their party to stand for public election, to become a City or County Cllr.