Cork’s Eddie Buckley stands down after 42 years service

“I think I’ve done my duty, I’m satisfied with all I have done in the fire service and for the service in Cork. I feel it is now time to bow out, take it easy for a bit and maybe push a few buggies for a while”: Third Officer Edward Buckley

After 42 years of service in the fire brigade, Cork City Fire Brigade said their farewell to one of their most cherished members and officers today.

3rd Officer Edward Buckley Cork City Fire Brigade with Axe and Crew

Photo: (All Photos courtesy Kieran Minihane in Cork)

Third Officer on Blue Watch, Edward (Eddie) Buckley hung up his helmet for the final time as firefighters gathered to wish him well during a Standing-down parade at 1800hrs yesterday.

Eddie started in the fire service forty-two years ago and was stationed at Blackpool, Anglesea Street, Ballavallan and many other stations.

3rd Officer Edward Buckley Cork City Fire Brigade

Speaking to Declan Keogh at Emergency Times yesterday afternoon, Eddie said leaving the fire service is a very emotional time and at the age of 64, he could have gone on for another year but he feels is satisfied with all he has done in the fire service and for the service.

“Working in the fire service has changed dramatically over the years, and we have had to move with and change with the way society lives today. We work very closely with the tremendous people in the ambulance service and we have done a lot of inter-agency work with them and the gardai”.

Edward Buckley and National AMbulance Service

Photo: (Eddie with members of NAS in Cork)

Third Officer Buckley began his career in Blackpool, Anglesa Street, Ballavallan.

Eddie regards the people in the fire service as a second family in may respects and aside from the comradery among the firefighters, there have been difficult times too. “Dealing with serious or stressful incidents years ago was much different than now. Years ago, you had to face the worst emotions during and after an incident on your own more or less. After the call, you went back to the station with your crew, and ye might have a little cry on your own but you got on with it, and in some cases you might end up bringing the problem home with you, but today, thankfully for everyone there is a mechanism in place for dealing with critical or stressful incidents”.

Cork City Fire Brigade STand DOwn Edward Buckley

When asked what are his plans for his retirement, he laughs and says he is also being committed to a number of jobs. “I have plenty to do, as we speak, my wife has a list of jobs for me to do and my six grandchildren will no doubt keep me busy but I am looking forward to it. I’ve had a wonderful career; I’ve worked with some wonderful people”.

Edward Buckley and Family

Photo: (Eddie Buckley with his family) will have a special feature on the career and achievement of Third Officer Eddie Buckley in the coming weeks and we wish Eddie well in his retirement.

3rd Officer Edward Buckley Cork City Fire Brigade presented with Axe

We want to thank Kieran Minihane in Cork for the excellent photographs.

Factory Fire in Naas

Units of Kildare Fire Service from Naas and Newbridge are at the scene of a fire at a factory on the Dublin Road, Naas.

By Clare McGrath in North Kildare
It’s not yet clear what is on fire at the premises, however, the factory has been evacuated and an ambulance from the HSE National Ambulance Service s also on the scene.

Naas Fire Staton

Photo: (Naas Fire Station)

Walker who became ‘cragfast’ winched from Waterford cliff

A cliff walker who got into difficulty on a cliff above Mahon Falls, Waterford was winched to the ground by the Irish Coast Guard this afternoon.

Gardaí in Waterford alerted the South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association and the Irish Cast Guard to assist the walker who became cragfast.

29.04.16 SEMRS IRCG

Pic: (South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association)

The Coast Guard’s R115 was guided to the location by the SEMRA and began to winch the person from the cliff to lower ground.

SEMRS Helicopter Guider

Pic: (South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association)

Weather conditions were said to be thundery, with showers of hail.

Investigations continue into fatal ambulance crash

An investigation is continuing into a fatal collision between two ambulances in Gwynedd yesterday. The driver of one of the ambulances died as a result of the crash.

The collision between an emergency ambulance and a patient care service ambulance happened at around 3pm yesterday on the A499, between the B4354, at Y Ffor, and the B4417, at Llanaelhaearn.

Ambulance Crash Walse

The driver of the latter died at the scene. Three people in the other vehicle were taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor with serious injuries.

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it would support staff in Pwllheli and the wider Gwynedd area “over the coming days”.

Amblance Crash Walse 2

Richard Lee, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s director of operations, said: “Our thoughts this evening are with everyone affected by this incident, but particularly with the family of the colleague we have lost.

“As an ambulance service we deal with road traffic accidents on a daily basis. These are always difficult for our staff to deal with, but even more so when they involve our colleagues. We have plans in place to support our staff in Pwllheli and the wider Gwynedd area over the coming days.”

Ambulance rash scene

Police in North Wales are investigating the crash and have appealed for witnesses.

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it would support staff in Pwllheli and the wider Gwynedd area “over the coming days”.

Sonia Thompson, the trust’s head of operations in north Wales, said: “We were all absolutely devastated to hear about this tragic accident and our thoughts are with everyone involved. We’re doing everything we can to support our affected colleagues and are working hard to understand what happened.”
Pics: (BBC News)

Student expelled from school following hoax bomb scare

A student who made a hoax call claiming there was a bomb at his school has been expelled today.

His expulsion followed a garda investigation into the call which was made to gardai last Monday 25th April at approximately 12pm, claiming a bomb was placed at the Christ the King secondary school at Half Moon, Lane in Cork.


Gardaí, the Defence Forces EOD, Cork City Fire Brigade, HSE Ambulances all responded to the alert.

The entire building was evacuated and a search was carried out by gardai and the Army Bomb Squad.

The scene was made safe at around 1.30pm and the incident declared a hoax.

In a follow-up investigation by gardai and school authorities, a student at the school was identified as having made the hoax call and expelled from the school.

Feature: Railway Exercise with Civil Defence & Irish Red Cross

A major railway exercise took place close to Heuston station and the Phoenix Park in Dublin, involving around 200 members of the Civil Defence and Irish Red Cross.

The focus of the exercise was a terror related incident which resulted in a Limerick bound train colliding with an obstruction in the Tunnel. Overall there were about 200 members of the Civil Defence Irish Red Cross were involved in the exercise which took place on 10th April last.

Civil Defence Train Crash Exercise-37

Photo: (Les Kelly/

On arrival at the scene, Civil Defence and Red Cross teams were faced with a distressed situation, with a lot of casualty’s trying to exit the tunnel. Given the scale of the incident and the numbers of casualties and their injuries, a Casualty identification and priority system was implemented.

2nd Officer Phil McGavin, Dublin Civil Defence: “When we arrived, we noted a lot of casualties shouting and screaming so we had to quickly priorities who was able to walk, help  themselves and those that couldn’t. Because the Civil Defence is a voluntary organisation, we don’t get to see these incidents too often so its important that that we keep training in the event that t does happen in real life and we can be ready for such events”.

Civil Defence Train Crash Exercise-26

Photo: (Les Kelly/

As hospitals across the city were overwhelmed, many casualties from the train were treated on the train or in the tunnel. A triage was set up outside the tunnel where other casualties were taken until hospital transfer was available.

The walking wounded were taken off the train using ladders while Civil Defence members used railway boogies to bring other casualties a distance of a half a mile from inside the tunnel to the outside.

Civil Defence Train Crash Exercise-58

Photo: (Les Kelly/

A total of 86 passengers were on board the train. 30 people were uninjured, 25 were described as walking wounded while 24 passengers were seriously injured. Six people died in the incident while one person was unaccounted for.



Speaking to Emergency Times on the day of he exercise, Commander Gerry Doyle of Dublin Civil Defence outlines what the scenario was. “We were tasked to deal with a rail incident in the tunnel. We had between 80 and 90 causalities on a train with varying injuries. This is a huge learning curve for us, particularly at officer level where they would be asked to step-up to roles which they wouldn’t normally fill and it does have huge training value for the crews itself and officers who are required to manage these sort of operations”.

Civil Defence Train Crash Exercise-48

Photo: (Les Kelly/

Overall there were about 200 members of the Civil Defence Irish Red Cross were involved. The exercise was to test the capabilities of the Civil Defence in such an event. It was also a learning curve for many of the volunteers who would not normally be faced with scenes such as this.

One leader with Dublin Civil Defence is Robbie O’Neill who told everything is team work. “All the training that we do on a weekly basis comes together on days like this, and it’s how we all work together as a team. Today was a good training day. A lot of effort and a lot of hard work was put in by all the volunteers”.

Civil Defence Train Crash Exercise-95

Photo: (Les Kelly/

Irish rail was the lead authority for the exercise and plans for the exercise between Irish rail and Dublin Civil defence have been ongoing for over four months.

Specialist equipment used by the Civil Defence was the new lighting and back-up lighting system. Four inflatable tents were used to treat casualties while Tetra and VHF radio systems were used to communicate between teams on the train, inside the tunnel and those in the Command & Control Unit, which was also used as a Forward Control.

Civil Defence Train Crash Exercise-28

Photo: (Les Kelly/

Training for these events is crucial among the voluntary services, and having volunteers faced with these situations is a major learning curve for all involved. Dublin Civil Defence Officer James McConnell said the exercise was a success and it provides the volunteers with hands on experience outside of the classroom.


Photo: (James McConnell, Dublin Civil Defence Officer)

Civil Defence Officer for Dublin City &County is James McConnell. “The exercise was n conjunction with Dublin Civil Defence, Irish Red Cross and Irish rail. About 200 volunteers from Dublin Civil defence and about 15 from Red Cross and we simulated a train hitting an obstruction n the tunnel. The exercise was to test our logistical emergency lighting and medical capabilities and setting up a triage system to evacuate patients. It was a very good test for our volunteer officers; you can’t do this in the classroom.

Civil Defence Train Crash Exercise-69

Photo: (Les Kelly/

The exercise was observed by members of the Dept of Defence, Health Service Exercise and An Garda Siochana.

Photo Gallery below video

Photo Gallery: All Photos: Les Kelly @emergencytimes

30 lives a year will be saved through new standardised treatment for heart attack patients.

Developments within the National Ambulance Service such as vehicles equipped with specific ECG machines and paramedics been trained in their use and interpretation alongside the establishment of dedicated centres for cardiology teams in the pPCI have all resulted in a significant and positive change for patients in recent years.

640 New Ambulance Fleet Leo Varadkar Heart ECG
Photo: (Health Minister Leo Varadkar at launch of new Ambulance Fleet)

‘The Heart Attack Care in Ireland 2014’ report found that 92% of appropriate patients received angioplasty compared with 55% in 2011, which according to HSE Director General Tony O’ Brien  is a tribute to the co-operation and commitment between dedicated hospital teams and the National Ambulance Service.

The Health Service Executive has designated a range of centres across the country, through the Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) Clinical Programme, to deliver pPCI. Ambulance Paramedics are trained in STEMI heart attack recognition and a paramedic can speak directly with the pPCI centre through a dedicated freephone. A specific protocol has been agreed and implemented, which ensures that patients are brought to the most appropriate medical setting.

The gold standard treatment for a major heart attack (STEMI), is primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI), commonly known as coronary angioplasty, as early as possible after the patient first experiences symptoms. pPCI usually involves the placement of stents to improve blood flow to the heart. If a STEMI heart attack patient cannot be transferred to a pPCI centre within 90 minutes, they will be transferred to the nearest Emergency Department to allow for thrombolysis to be administered.

Ambulance at A&E Unit

International evidence has shown that pPCI intervention is most effective if the dedicated centre can be reached within 90 minutes of diagnosis. Professor Kieran Daly, Clinical Lead Programme for ACS, said  “The aim of our programme, established over two years ago, was to save lives by standardising the care of these patients across the country. At 92 per cent, our high level of pPCI access compares favourably with other countries such as Wales (72%) and England (97%).”

The establishment of dedicated cardiology teams in the pPCI centres allowing for the maintenance of a 24/7 service with direct access catheter laboratories has been an essential development.

With plans for a new cross border service expected to be in place in the coming weeks, 90 per cent of the population nationally will have access to a pPCI centre within 90 minutes. A new service in the North West will also commence shortly featuring an innovative cross border service that will give Donegal patients suffering from a STEMI heart attack direct access to services in Altnagelvin Hospital in the North. It is anticipated that up to 60 patients a year will be treated in the Derry hospital.

Prof Kier Daly 2
Photo: (Professor Kieran Daly)

Prof Kieran Daly said “The small proportion of patients outside this 90-minute transfer time are also dealt with according to national protocols through thrombolysis and then transferred on an urgent basis to a pPCI centre. All international programmes face similar challenges, but we feel we are succeeding in reaching a very high percentage of our population at present,”

The designated 24/7 centres are: St James’s Hospital; CUH; Galway University Hospital; the Mater; and University Hospital Limerick. University Hospital Waterford operates as a pPCI centre on a nine to five, Monday to Friday basis supplemented by a thrombolysis service out of hours.

GRA calls for increase in Garda numbers

The Garda Representative Association has said 4,000 more gardai are needed to bring the number of members in the force up to 16,000.

Speaking at its annual conference, outgoing GRA President Dermot O’ Brien said the strength in numbers within the force should be increased. The GRA is calling for optimum numbers survey to establish what the strength of the force should be to enable it to effectively police the country.

GRA Conference

The conference which is taking place in Killarney, Co. Kerry also heard strong criticism of the Garda’s computer system which is almost twenty years old.

Mr O’Brien described the Garda IT system, Pulse, as “collapsing at the seams with red traffic lights” and said it was “failing those it was designed to assist”. We are taking one step forward and two steps back with Pulse,” he said.

The GRA has also heard impassioned please from rank and file gardai to restore their pay. A motion calling for the restoration of pay to pre-2009 levels was passed unanimously.

Chimney Fire developes into full house fire

‘Chimney fire… house well alight… Make Pumps Two’. A standard call-out to a chimney fire lasted almost 10 hours and caused extensive damage to a house in County Tipperary on Sunday.

A unit of Tipperary Fire & Rescue Service from Templemore fire station was alerted by the Munster Regional Control Centre in Limerick, to deal with a report of a fire in a chimney at 4.15 pm in Templemore on Sunday afternoon.

House Fire 2
Photos: (Tipperary Fire & Rescue Service)

On arrival fire fighters discovered that the fire had caught onto the thatched roof of the house and was quickly spreading.

As the fire progressed rapidly, additional fire units were called in to assist from Thurles fire station.

Tipp House Fire FFs

Tipperary Fire and Rescue Service responded with two fire tenders, a water tanker and an officer’s jeep.

Firefighters managed to save all the contents such as personal possessions and photos on the ground level.

960 Tipp House Fire Inside

Tipperary Fire and Rescue Service said what might look like a simple chimney fire can turn out a lot worse and in general, took the opportunity to advise all home owners to check their smoke alarms and have their chimneys cleaned regularly.

960 Emergency Times Tipp House Fire

Fire crews left the scene late Sunday night and the last fire appliance was back at base at 1.30am Monday.

Photos: Courtesy Tipperary Fire and Rescue Service (Facebook page)

Fatal Shooting in Cork

A man has died following a shooting incident in a house at the Ballyphehane area of Cork city.

Garda Cordon

The shooting occurred at around 4.30pm at Plunkett Road.

It is understood the man lived at the house and was with another man when the shooting occurred.

Shooting Cork

A man who was in the house at the time is understood to be assisting gardai with their investigation and is at Togher Garda station.

A technical examination will be conducted there later and the office of the State Pathologist has been informed.

Garda Vehicles at scene

Local eyewitnesses say that the shooting may be accidental.