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Monday 29 May 2017

Four new ambulances needed for city immediately - council

Councillor Alison Gilliland
Councillor Alison Gilliland

Dublin City Council is calling for immediate funding for four new ambulances to operate in the capital.

The council passed a motion without debate last night, asking Local Government Minister Simon Coveney and Health Minister Simon Harris to act.

It comes following claims that Dublin Fire Brigade, which provides emergency medical services, is currently operating above capacity.

The motion was tabled by Labour Party councillor Alison Gilliland, who said an increase in calls and incidents meant 12 ambulances were not sufficient.

Needs

"Dublin Fire Brigade has evaluated the current situation and indicated that an additional four ambulances would allow the service to safely meet emergency needs arising across its operating area of Dublin city and county," Ms Gilliland said.

She added that Dublin Fire Brigade currently had 12 ambulances and 23 fire tenders.

Last year, the service responded to 115,000 calls, representing some 40pc of the national volume, an increase in calls on 2015.

"We are fortunate that we have a world-class emergency medical service that operates above international optimal service levels," she said.

"However, immediate funding for additional ambulances and crews is urgently required to ensure Dublin's emergency medical needs are met in a safe and effective manner."

Ms Gilliland's motion received cross-party support.

Risk

People Before Profit members of the council also urged the council's CEO, Owen Keegan, to help secure the increased funding necessary.

The group said the emergency medical services provided by the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) were of the highest international standards.

"Without additional funds being released to secure the four additional, fully crewed ambulances required to meet current capacity needs, lives are being put at risk and unnecessary deaths may occur," it said.

The group also raised concerns about any attempt to remove the call-taking and dispatch function from the DFB's centre of operations in Tara Street, in order to subsume it under the HSE's National Ambulance Service based in Tallaght.

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