independent

Monday 21 October 2019

New ambulance appointments will see 24/7 cover right across the county

Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer South East Anthony Byrne, Advanced Paramedic Cllr Ger Carthy, Richard Doyle, Liam O’Neill, Olivia Harte, Michael Dixon and Oliver Martin with a brand new ambulance at Wexford General Hospital
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer South East Anthony Byrne, Advanced Paramedic Cllr Ger Carthy, Richard Doyle, Liam O’Neill, Olivia Harte, Michael Dixon and Oliver Martin with a brand new ambulance at Wexford General Hospital

Pádraig Byrne

The Ambulance service in Wexford is to enjoy continued investment from the HSE and will see the biggest intake of new staff since 2003 it has been confirmed. The new appointments will result in 24/7 cover being provided in each of the main towns for the first time in almost 16 years.

Speaking last week, Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer for the South East Anthony Byrne confirmed that 12 new paramedics are to be hired for the South East, the majority of which will be assigned to Co Wexford.

In recent times, the Ambulance Service in Wexford had been identified as one of those under the most pressure in the country and the news of continued HSE investment has come as a major boost.

'This is the result of a few years planning,' Mr Byrne said. 'We're delighted to add posts in the South East for paramedics and this will greatly aid in the provision of 24/7 cover right across the county. As well as this we're upgrading our fleet. We've just taken delivery of a brand new Ambulance last week, which will be going to Gorey, and currently our oldest vehicle is a 161.'

Cllr Ger Carthy, himself a Paramedic Supervisor with the National Ambulance Service, welcomed the move and said it would greatly assist in reducing the pressure that the ambulance service finds itself under in Wexford.

'With this additional staff, it will mean that Enniscorthy, New Ross and Gorey will all have full-time, 24/7 cover for the first time since the 2003 cutbacks.'

'It's well documented how much pressure the ambulance service has been under here,' he continued.

'Anthony has been very proactive in working to deliver these development posts and has put in a lot of work behind the scenes to get things to this point. Back in 2014 we had a cross-party emergency meeting with the council in relation to the ambulance service and how under-resourced it was throughout Wexford. This really is something to be welcomed. There had been concerns that there would be cutbacks this year as a result of the spend on the National Children's Hospital, but thankfully our budget has been maintained.'

Mr Byrne pointed out that increasing populations and other factors were taken into consideration before the go ahead was given.

'A statistical analysis was undertaken, factoring in call volume over the last few years and population levels,' he said. 'The population has grown significantly, and Wexford also has a seasonal increase in population of some 30,000 each year. All this was taken into consideration and it was decided that the development posts were needed.'

This latest development comes after an investment of some €200,000 in the new ambulance station situated in the Peare Campus on the Old Dublin Road in Enniscorthy and Mr Byrne also confirmed that the management team for the South East is also attempting to identify a new site for an upgraded ambulance station in Gorey.

New Ross Standard

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