Ambulance drivers say control centre move not working
AMBULANCE response times in Wicklow are being compromised since the control centre moved from Wicklow Hospital to Dublin’s Townsend Street.
A number of ambulance drivers have lashed out against the change which took place last December saying they believe their response times are being compromised because of the combining of resources.
Dublin paramedics say that since the Command and Control Centre in Townsend Street took control of dispatching crews in Wicklow, they are having to travel outside their traditional areas.
According to the ambulance staff, this is leading to a delay in reaching medical emergencies.
However, the HSE says that in their experience this is not the case and system of dispatch is working effectively.
The Eastern Division of National Ambulance Services has responsibility for the provision of pre-hospital and patient trans- port services within Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare.
In December, the emergency call taking and dispatch of ambulances was moved from Wicklow Hospital to the Command and Control in Townsend Street. Services to and from Loughlinstown Hospital are also controlled from the same base.
Ambulance drivers from Tallaght said the move has created a number of problems including increased response times.
One driver who did not wanted to be named said ‘Tallaght ambulances are being sent down to places like Greystones. The traditional response time is around 10 minutes but now we’re looking at up to 30 minutes in some cases. We have no problem dealing with it but sending Tallaght ambulances to Sallynoggin is ridiculous. There should be a quicker response than that’.
In a statement the HSE, said ‘the National Ambulance Service operates to a protocol of responding the nearest available ambulance to all emergencies.
‘Ambulance crews are being dispatched and deployed to emergency calls in the Dublin and Wicklow areas in accordance with the above protocol.
‘This regionalisation of ambulances allows for greater use of all available ambulance resources in the care of major emergencies.’