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Saturday 20 September 2014

Ambulance was called out for a dog having pups

Elaine Keogh

Published 17/04/2014 | 08:00

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A local member of the ambulance service says people are at risk due to a lack of resources
Paramedics were furious when they discovered the 'emergency call-out' was for a family pet having pups

AN emergency call to help out a 14-year-old in labour turned out to be a dog having pups.

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Paramedics were furious when they discovered that an emergency call-out for a Dundalk patient was in fact a hoax and a family pet was having pups.

“We could not believe that someone would call out an ambulance to such a call. This is a service for seriously ill children and adults and we are working under great pressures right around the clock,” said a source.

They revealed that an ambulance and a rapid response car answered the call, and when they arrived the person in the house pointed them towards the dog.

The call came on April 1, ambulance crews did not see the funny side.

“We are fed up and are under enough pressure and now we are expected to deliver pups. There should be charges brought against people who abuse the emergency services,” said a paramedic.

RISK

The HSE said: “Hoax calls to the National Ambulance Service have the potential to delay a response to a serious emergency and can put the public and crews at risk.

“NAS confirms that a recent hoax call in the Dundalk area has been referred to gardai for investigation.”

A garda spokesman in Dundalk said they have yet to receive a formal complaint, “but if one is received we will be fully investigating it”.

Louth Fianna Fail TD Seamus Kirk said: “If the circumstances are as outlined, this is an appalling waste of valuable paramedic and ambulance crew time.”

Tony Gregg of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) said fake call-outs impede the service.

“There is an ongoing issue with hoax calls and abuse of the service,” he said.

“This is not uncommon, especially where you find people under the influence of alcohol.

“They will call an ambulance to say they don’t feel well and when we bring them to A&E and we hand them over to a nurse there, they hop off the trolley and get a taxi home.

“It is not the norm, but it is familiar.”

Irish Independent

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