With unprecedented challenges facing the Health Service, Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne has welcomed confirmation given this week by the National Ambulance Service (NAS) that Fire and Rescue Personnel can now be deployed to assist them as first responders. Cllr Byrne has called on Louth County Council to urgently consider this for County Louth.
Cllr Byrne said “Following the confirmation from the NAS this week that Fire Service personnel can be used to assist in cardiac arrest calls, there is an onus on Louth County Council, who have ultimate responsibility for the Fire Service in Louth, to embrace and consider this with the utmost urgency.
“In dialogue this week between the Minister for Health, Public Representatives and the HSE it has been highlighted that retained calls in particular carry a high cost to local authorities and with many stations seeing a significant decline in fire-related call-outs it allows potential to re-direct resources to enable staff to respond to medical emergencies in a first responder capacity.
“In my view, Louth County Council need to seize this opportunity considering the huge strain the Ambulance Service is under. We are blessed to have some of the best talent in the country in the ranks of our Fire Service in Louth so not only would allowing trained fire service personnel to respond to scenarios like this when available, it would free up the Ambulance Service to focus their skills and expertise towards other types of medical emergencies.”
While other Councils around the Country like Galway, Kerry and now Donegal are making moves to put this system in place for their Retained Firefighters Cllr Byrne has made the request to Louth County Council to follow suit and allow their Fire Personnel to provide the same assistance to the NAS as their colleagues are doing nationwide.