Fight to save ambulances

Emergency services may close in HSE review

Fight to save ambulances
By Eoin Kelleher

Fears are growing that a life-saving Rapid Response Ambulance Unit set up to cater for accidents & emergencies in North Tipperary, may be abolished in a HSE review.

The fleet of vehicles was set up in 2009 in the wake of the closures of night-time A&E Departments in Nenagh and Ennis, and consist of a mobile ‘A&E’ with paramedics specially trained in life-saving skills and drug administration above the level of other paramedics. Now the service is under threat, as the National Ambulance Service (NAS) considers winding up the special ambulances as a new A&E is set to open in Limerick. Tipperary TDs from across the political divide have united to call on the HSE to retain the emergency service, which has saved the lives of dozens of Tipperary people injured in car crashes, or who have suffered heart attacks.

This week, Deputies Alan Kelly, Michael Lowry, and Jackie Cahill, were united in their response.

It's understood some meetings have taken place in Tipperary with no outcome so far. Full story on page 2.