independent

Tuesday 20 August 2019

AMBULANCE MAKES 'EMERGENCY' STOP ...AT CHIPPER!

CREW DRIVE THE WRONG WAY UP ONE-WAY STREET

CONOR CULLEN

A PRIVATE ambulance drove the wrong way up South Main Street for an 'emergency' stop at a Wexford town chipper.

There were a number of people in the vicinity at about 9.30 p.m. last Tuesday night when the ambulance drove up King Street and turned right on to South Main Street, the wrong way on the one-way street.

However, onlookers who assumed it was an emergency soon learned it wasn't when the ambulance parked up close to the Bride Street turn - still facing the wrong way - and its occupants made a beeline for The Premier chipper to order some takeaway food.

After getting their chips, they later made their way out of the area by turning up Bride Street from South Main Street, re-entering the normal flow of traffic. Complaints from annoyed members of the public who witnessed the 'emergency' stop were received by the ambulance service in Wexford. However, the ambulance in question was not a HSE-operated ambulance, but owned by a private operator.

The registration of the ambulance, noted by one onlooker, revealed that it is in fact owned by a Dublin-based private ambulance company. When contacted about the incident yesterday (Tuesday), a spokesman for the company said he would need to investigate, and had not replied at the time of going to print last night.

A Garda spokesman said that the only way a vehicle can disregard the rules of the road, like driving the wrong way up a one way street, is in the case of a genuine emergency.

However, he pointed out that private ambulances, as opposed to those operated by the HSE, are generally not involved in emergency calls that would require such manoeuvres, but usually more routine transfers.

' They're not the same as the HSE ambulances, the Fire Service or ourselves,' he said.

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