Date Released: 28 March 2014
SIPTU members in the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have expressed concern about revelations concerning the provision and inadequate funding of ambulance services contained in the RTE Primetime Investigates programme broadcast last night (Thursday, 27th March).
SIPTU Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “Considering what we have seen in last night’s Primetime programme concerning ambulance services, our members in DFB are extremely concerned that any review of the emergency services must be in the interests of patient safety and be independently conducted.
“Our members are also concerned that a leaked HSE/National Ambulance Service report indicates a plan to deliberately reduce funding to the DFB Ambulance Service. This reduction in funding is to be implemented without due consideration of the ability to maintain and continue the efficient provision of this critically important service to the public.”
DFB SIPTU Shop Steward: Glen Ellis, said: “The Primetime report further demonstrates how critically important it is for patient outcomes that DFB retains it's ambulance service. This service is supported by fire engines that are kitted out with life saving equipment and crewed by trained paramedics, who can provide immediate life saving interventions.”
DFB SIPTU Convenor, Gerry Harris, said: “This extremely well researched investigation has uncovered very serious issues with the provision of ambulance services throughout the country. In Dublin the DFB has been providing a professional ambulance service for generations and it must be maintained along with greater investment in improving the service throughout the country.
“SIPTU is reiterating its demand for a National Capacity Review of the State’s Ambulance Services as called for at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health on 25th February."
He added: “We are also calling for public support for our campaign to protect Dublin’s Ambulance Service, as provided by Dublin Fire Brigade, against any attempts to remove it and for increased funding for the National Ambulance Service.”