independent

Thursday 22 August 2019

It took ambulance an hour to get to injured Wexford woman

Accident victim left on side of the road at Piercestown

The ambulance from Waterford arrived in Piercestown over an hour after the 999 call.
The ambulance from Waterford arrived in Piercestown over an hour after the 999 call.

By David TUCKER

A retired public health nurse was left lying bleeding and bruised at the side of the road for an hour following a car accident outside her home in Piercestown.

Neighbours said the woman, who is in her 70s, was involved in the accident shortly before 11 p.m. on the night of March 10, however, it was 12.10 a.m. on Wednesday, by the time an ambulance arrived, apparently sent from Waterford.

The accident happened when the woman's foot got caught in the door of her car, which had an automatic gearbox, the vehicle dragging her backwards from her driveway into the road where it came to rest.

A neighbour, who asked not to be identified, said his son was out in the yard when he heard a commotion and someone shouting for help.

'He found our neighbour lying in the road. The rest of the kids went out and called for an ambulance. The guards arrived and said that an ambulance was not too far away and would have to come on the Coolballow Road because they saw it turning up by Firmans,' said the neighbour.

But after an hour there was no sign of them and eventually an ambulance arrived from Waterford. In the meantime, two fire brigade units had arrived.

The former public health nurse had back injuries, a gashed leg and a head injury.

'The woman was left lying in the road like a dog,' said the neighbour, 'no-one should be treated like that and where did the ambulance go that the guards saw?' he said.

'We're only six minutes down the road from Wexford General Hospital, so why did an ambulance come all the way from Waterford to take her there?'

Asked for a response, the National Ambulance Service, speaking through the HSE, said a 999/112 call was received for a road traffic collision in the Wexford area at 11.04 p.m. on March 10.

'At the time the call was received, a number of emergency resources were engaged on other emergency calls. The nearest available emergency resource was dispatched to the incident and arrived at the scene at 11.58 p.m.,' it said. HIQA response time standards for non-life threatening emergencies are 19 minutes.

'As per standard operating procedures, all emergency calls are triaged using the Advanced Medical Priority Medical Dispatch System (AMPDS). This system prioritises calls using internationally agreed procedures and protocols. This ensures that life threatening and potentially life threatening calls receive an appropriate and timely response.'

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