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Wexford council ill-equipped to help people in emergency medical situations


Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy.

Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy.

Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy.


A member of Enniscorthy Municipal District has raised the need for training among members and staff with regard to circumstances where they are faced with emergency or tragic situations.

Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy raised the matter with officials at Wednesday’s meeting and referring to a recent incident where a staff member passed away suddenly she said “we were ill-equipped to help the people with the immediate incident”.

“I wonder if there is any kind of training we could get and I am very conscious of the fact that the people who actually tried to save his life were just standing around here and I didn’t even offer to get them a bottle of water or bring them away from the scene to get a cup of tea,” she said.

“I don’t know if there’s any training that could be got or should be got maybe,” she added.

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“I just felt, when I went home, that we were very inadequate that we hadn’t done anything to help those who were first on the scene and I think we should have, in some way, been able to do something and training kicks in at a time like that so unless someone has given you even some kind of instruction on what you should do or the best way to help at that time it doesn’t kick in.”

Cllr Murphy went on to comment: “I just felt inadequate afterwards that yee needed help and we weren’t in a position to provide it.”

District Manager, Ger Mackey, replied that Wexford County Council had provided counselling afterwards, the following day, for all the staff involved in the incident.

“In the moment, on the day, you do what you can and it's afterwards that it comes to mind,” said Mr Mackey.

“I suppose for those of us who weren’t here at the minute we could have done more to help those cope afterwards because you really feel so inadequate afterwards,” replied Cllr Murphy.

“You know what has happened and then you go through all the things in your head that you could have done or maybe have done differently and counselling can help with that but to be standing around outside wasn’t helpful,” she said.

“I am also conscious of that in my workplace as well so I am trying to see if there is anything I can do for there as well,” she added.

“It’s a good point and it’s something that we can explore,” said Mr Mackey.

“I think everyone was in shock that day,” said Cllr Jackser Owens.

The Cathaoirleach, Cllr Aidan Browne, thanked all of the emergency services for their response to the situation on the day and he also praised the staff in the Presentation Centre for how they dealt with the matter.

“They were very good to everyone in the scenario Cllr Murphy is talking about and that needs to be acknowledged,” he said.