Sinn Féin - On Your Side

50 minutes to respond to Emergency call out unacceptable - Sinn Féin

2 December, 2008

Sinn Féin Strabane Councillor Kieran McGuire says that continuing gaps in emergency ambulance cover in the Western Board Area were exposed once again yesterday when it took 50 minutes for an ambulance crew to get to the scene of emergency call out in the Aghyaran area outside Castlederg.

He said,

"Yesterday afternoon, a youngster came off a quad bike in the Killeter area and sustained serious head and back injuries. An emergency call was put it at 3.15pm but an ambulance did not arrive until 50 minutes later at 4.05 pm.

"Thankfully, the injuries sustained by the youngster did not turn out to be life threatening but considering that the youngster had to be then taken to the A&E at Enniskillen which took another 40 minutes then it makes a complete mockery of the claim that everyone within the Western Board area is within the 'Golden Hour'.

"The Minister of Health previously acknowledged that this general area was a black spot in terms of emergency ambulance cover and said that a first responder vehicle to provide was being introduced to provide much needed additional cover for the area.

"However, it is now clear as a result of this latest incident that the ambulance service remains completely overstretched. No one faults the ambulance service personnel who are doing sterling work under extremely difficult circumstances and with limited resources. The Westerm Board Area is the largest of all Board areas in geographical terms and the Minister Michael McGimpsey must ensure that additional resources are provided to ensure that response times are brought into line with other areas." ENDS

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