Tuesday 21 August 2018

'We went places you can’t get in with a tractor' - Irish Red Cross 4x4 ambulance responds to 23 call outs in south east in two days

The snow in Kilbraney in Co. Wexford on Friday Picture: Patrick Browne
The snow in Kilbraney in Co. Wexford on Friday Picture: Patrick Browne

Sean Nolan

One Irish Red Cross 4x4 ambulance in the south east has been involved in 23 call outs in just two days as that part of country bears the brunt of Storm Emma.

A spokesperson for the Irish Red Cross told Independent.ie that between Friday and Saturday, the Enniscorthy-based vehicle dealt with a number of serious incidents in the region.

These call-outs covered;

  • a medical emergency to Wexford General Hospital
  • a fall to Wexford General Hospital
  • a fracture to Waterford University Hospital
  • 16 transports to the dialysis unit
  • 4 transports of key nursing staff to Wexford General Hospital

This was all completed by one four-wheel-drive ambulance manned by three Irish Red Cross volunteers.

Paddy Redmond, Irish Red Cross Area Director of Units for Wexford said: "We’re down here doing the best we can. The four-wheel-drive ambulance has been all over the place. It’s the star of the show. We went places you can’t get in with a tractor!

"We finished at a quarter to 11 last night having started at 7.30am. On Friday we started at 6.30am. There was a medical emergency the other day, a fracture and a fall, and they all had to be transported to hospital. And they were just some of the call-outs. It’s just me and two drivers, it’s been very difficult. But that’s what we’re here for."

According to the Red Cross' National Director of Units Tony Lawlor, the severe snowfall that affected Wexford is the worst since the 1947 snowfall and that led to particular challenges faced by the National Ambulance Service in Wexford, mainly due to the severe access restrictions in many parts of the county.

Nationally the Irish Reed Cross has dealt with almost 150 call outs since Friday.

Wexford remains one of the worst affected counties and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is visiting the county today.

Schools in the worst affected parts of the county are not expected to open tomorrow, while power outages and flooding risks remain.

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