Funding for additional Dublin Fire Brigade ambulances required immediately

09 January 2017

‘Minister Coveney must make funding for four additional ambulances for Dublin Fire Brigade emergency medical services available immediately. The emergency ambulance service in Dublin is a Fire Based Emergency Medical Services (EMS) model which is a unique public safety model reflective of best practice internationally in urban areas and is provided in accordance with Section 25 of the 1981 Fire Services Act’.

‘Operated by Dublin Fire Brigade, the ambulance service is currently operating above capacity and needs four additional 24/7 crewed ambulances to meet the needs of Dublin City and County.’

‘Currently Dublin Fire Brigade has 12 ambulances and 23 fire tenders. Both ambulance and fire service crews are fully trained paramedics or advanced paramedics who can bring expert medical care and treatment to the site of any medical emergency. The service includes a call and dispatch service that ensures all crews are effectively deployed to emergencies. Last year the service responded to 115,000 calls representing 40% of the national volume, an increase in calls on 2015.’

‘The service operates on zero down time meaning that ambulances are continuously available 24/7 365 days per year. However, an increase in calls and incidents means 12 ambulances are not sufficient to effectively meet needs. Dublin Fire Brigade has evaluated the current situation and indicated that an additional four ambulances would allow the service to safely meet emergency needs arising across its operating area of Dublin City and County.’

‘We are fortunate that we have a world class emergency medical service that operates above international optimal service levels however immediate funding for additional ambulances and crews is urgently required to ensure Dublin’s emergency medical needs are met in a safe and effective manner. We currently have a crisis in hospital A&E services, Dublin citizens’ do not need a crisis in pre-hospital emergency medical services!’

‘Tonight, as Chairperson of Dublin City Council’s Special Committee on Dublin Fire/Ambulance Services and Emergency Management I am presenting an emergency motion to Dublin City Council calling on the Minister to make funding available immediately for four additional fully crewed 24/7 ambulances to meet Dublin City and County capacity needs.’

Text of motion

That the Members of Dublin City Council acknowledge and commend the effective, integrated, co-ordinated and vital emergency fire and medical service provided by Dublin Fire Brigade to the citizens of Dublin City and the greater Dublin area. The emergency ambulance service in Dublin is a Fire Based Emergency Medical Services (EMS) model which is a unique public safety model reflective of best practice internationally in urban areas and is provided in accordance with Section 25 of the 1981 Fire Services Act. However, the Members note, with concern, that Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance service is currently operating over capacity, resulting in an unacceptable increase in patient waiting time, and therefore call on DCC management to make an urgent request to the Minister of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to immediately make funding available for 4 additional fully crewed ambulances to the service, being the minimum number of ambulances needed to meet current and projected short term demand.

The Members also recognise the report of the Expert Panel Report on Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Services Dublin published in December 2015 as an agreed solution to address the recommendations made by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report into Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Services published in December 2014. However, the Members note, with concern, the suggestion that the Dublin Fire Brigade call and dispatch service based in Tara Street Station would be transferred or amalgamated with the NAS call and dispatch service in Tallaght (not a recommendation of either the 2014 HIQA Report or the Expert Panel Report). In light of the foregoing, the members, through this motion, instruct Dublin City Council management a) to bring any proposal or joint proposal to the attention of the other Dublin local authorities and the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly as required under Sections 32(2) and 32(3) of the Local Government (Dublin) Act 1993 as the exercise of any change will have a material effect on the metropolitan interest and b) not to agree to any change in the current DFB EMS system of operations unless and until a full consultation with Dublin Fire Brigade and its employee representatives, the DCC Special Committee on Fire/Ambulance and Emergency Management and all members be held and that any changes suggested be subject to agreement of the members of this Council.

ENDS

Cllr Alison Gilliland

086/6015154

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