Garda Representative Association protest outside the Dáil

Approximately thirty members of the central executive of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) are protesting outside the Dáil today following the breakdown of talks between the association and government officials in recent days over garda salaries.

Protesting gardai gathered at the gates of Leinster House at 10am to greet TD’s as they made their way to Leinster House.

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A GRA has said its members are protesting at the government’s failure to address the negotiations that were taking place up to a few days ago.

The new public pay deal, which is due to come into force tomorrow was rejected by 86% of GRA members in October last. Public sector workers who have not signed up will not be entitled to protections under the Financial Emergency Measures Acts (FEMPI) and will face a pay freeze.

The GRA represents 10,500 Gardaí in Ireland.

Speaking on national radio yesterday, the GRA’s president Ciaran O’Neill said industrial action was on the cards and refused to rule out an illegal strike by rank-and-file gardaí.

He said the pay freeze would particularly impact on the newest recruits, who would remain on their €23,171 salary until 2018.

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SP Services proud of Kevin’s Cardiac Intervention

Management at SP Services in Ireland and the UK have expressed their delight and thanks to their National Sales Manager for his intervention and assistance at a cardiac arrest case in London over the weekend.

Kevin O’Brien traveled from Dublin to London to celebrate the London Pride Parade when he received an alert on his phone via the GoodSAM mobile app. The alert was for a male having a cardiac arrest at Kings Cross train station in London.


SP Services Ireland Sales Manager Kevin O’Brien.
(Photo: @DeclanTkeogh)

Kevin was on scene within to minutes of the alert and along with other services, he was able to perform CPR including defibrillation. SP Services have confirmed that following Kevin’s efforts while working alongside personnel from London Ambulance Service, St. John Ambulance, the British Transport Police and other responders, the patient’s heart and breathing were both restarted. The patient was subsequently taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Kings Cross SP Services Kevin O Brien

Steve Bray, Managing Director at SP Services said ‘We are all very proud of Kevin’s actions this weekend and we know that he is never off duty when it comes to someone in need. The fact that ROSC was achieved is just brilliant news and we wish the patient a full and speedy recovery.”

Several injured in amusement park derailment

A number of people have been injured after a rollercoaster ride derailed at an amusement park at Strathclyde Country Park, in Motherwell.

Six ambulance crews, four fire units and several police officers are working at the scene in Scotland.

UK Motherweell Rollercoaster Demi Campbell
Pic: (Demi Campbell via Sky News)

A spokesperson for Scotland Polcie said “We can confirm we are currently working with other emergency services to ascertain the full extent of the situation. We can confirm there are injured parties – approximately seven people.”

The accident took place on the Tsunami ride, Scotland’s only inverted rollercoaster  which can reach speeds of up to 65mph.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said six ambulance crews and a specialist operation team are at the scene.

Emergency Services Parade with Pride in London

Personnel from the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services in London paraded with pride across London with thousands of other participants for London Pride yesterday.

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Almost 200 members of the three UK services took part in the event.

Police Pride
The London Metropolitan Police launched their LGBT Network at this year’s pride as eighty members and staff attended the colourful parade. The LGBT Network is the Met’s newest association, representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) offices and staff.

Officers teamed up with colleagues from other UK police forces and security agencies, whilst walking for the first time alongside staff from the London Ambulance Service and the London Fire Brigade. Met officers and staff were supported by Robin Wilkinson, Director of people and change, who has been working together to raise awareness and support for their LGBT colleagues.

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The Met’s LGBT Network emerged to raise awareness and help create a more knowledgeable workforce that can respond to crimes or issues affecting members of the LGBT community sensitively.

A spokesperson for the Met said: “The Network has been set up to embrace workplace difference, helping to demonstrate the diversity of the Met and its officers and staff. By doing this we seek to make further progress in ensuring the Met is more inclusive, whilst reflecting the diversity of London and being an employer of choice.”

London Metropolitan Police confirmed there was an increased police presence at this year’s Pride following the mass shooting at an Orlando LGBT nightclub earlier this month.

Ambulance Pride
London Pride event is always a buy one for the London Ambulance Service overall. Over forty members of London Ambulance Service took part in Pride while other crews and personnel were also busy providing medical cover for the event at the various treatment centres which were set-up across London for pride.

UK London AMbulance London Pride

A special control room was established to respond to incidents in the event area. Mobile teams attended on foot in the busy areas carrying all the kit they require for medical emergencies. Three treatment centres were also set-up with over 140 staff ready to respond.

UK London AMbulance London Pride Ambualnce

Chairperson of London Ambulance Service LGBT Forum Steph Adams drove an ambulance through the parade. She said “We are excited to be part of the parade and we always get a good reception from the crowds. Pride is just a fantastic, joyful day. Those of us in the Parade go in our own time and we are proud to be seen in our uniform to show the public ‘this is us, this is who we are’ and that we’re part of an accepting organisation.

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Incident and Delivery Manager, Paul Gates, is responsible for the medical cover at the event. He said: “We want everyone to have a good time but don’t take drugs and make sure you drink sensibly, eat a meal and plan your journey home so you don’t end your day in the back of an ambulance.

UK LAS London Ambulance London Pride

“Spectators who feel unwell or have minor injuries or illness are encouraged to make their own way to one of the treatment centres. This will be the quickest way to access medical help.”

Fire Pride
Regarded as the UK’s top gay friendly fire and rescue service, London Fire Brigade were out in force again this year with up to sixty fire fighters and staff taking part.

UK LFB Engine London Pride

Pride is an important date in the London Fire Brigade’s diary and shows London and the rest of the world that the Brigade is proud to be, once again, part of the London Pride event. It also provides a unique opportunity to encourage interest from people in the gay community who may never have considered a career as a firefighter before and offers London’s gay businesses and residents the chance to learn more about the Brigade’s community fire safety initiatives and programmes.

UK LFB London Pride

Two special occasions also took place at the London pride involving London Police. Two Police officers proposed to their boyfriends during the parade, images which were captured and shared throughout the LGBT community.

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London met Police Engegment

Photos taken from The Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade 

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Fun weekend for South Tipperary Emergency Services

Emergency Services in South Tipperary are having a busy and fun weekend with the South Tipperary Emergency Services Cycle and the Emergency Services Display Day.

On Friday, family members of the services participated in a 5km family fun walk while yesterday was a bigger challenge for those who took part in cycles Jim Hogan Memorial Cycle consisting of a 55km route and 100km route.

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Photo: (Tipperary Fire & Rescue Service)

Today sees the 3rd annual Emergency Services Display Day taking place at the Army Barracks in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Several emergency and voluntary services will showcase their services, equipment, PPE and vehicles.

An Garda Síochana, the National Ambulance Service, Tipperary Fire & Rescue Service, the Irish Coast Guard, Civil Defence, Irish Red Cross, Order of Malta and local Search & Rescue crews from Carrick-on-Suir and the Nenagh Ormond Search Unit will all be attending.

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Photo: (Tipperary Fire & Rescue Service)

This event is a good opportunity for any members of the public who wish to find out more information about these services on what they do and for those interested in joining, it’s a great insight.

The Emergency Services Display Day takes place from 12pm to 4pm and is free to attend.

Dublin Fire Brigade tackle derelict building fire

Three Units of Dublin Fire Brigade fought a blaze at a derelict premises on Quay Street, Skerries, Co. Dublin in the early hours of this morning.

The first emergency call was received at the Eastern Regional Contol Centre at Townsend Street at 4.05am.

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Three fire tenders responded to the call from stations at Phibsboro, North Strand, Kilbarrack. A District officer from Phibsboro also attended.

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The fire crew from the local station were already attending another call at the time.
Photos: Dublin Fire Brigade 

Gardaí investigate house fire and serious assault on man in Cork

Gardaí in Cork are investigating an incident in which one man was assaulted and a house was badly damaged by fire. The incident happened at around 3.20am at the Hollywood Estate, Knocknaheeny in Cork.

Cork Fire Brigade responded to an emergency call and when they arrived, fire crews found the house ‘well alight’.

CORK TV3 Incident
Photo: Paul Byrne TV3 News

Fire fighters carried out a search of the house but it was found to be unoccupied. The house was gutted in the blaze.

Gardai believe that a man who was discovered assaulted nearby may be connected to the incident. He was taken to hospital with hs injures.

The scene remains sealed off pending a full garda technical examination.

Ambulance emergency call-takers to begin strike action

SIPTU members at the National Ambulance Services’ Emergency Operations Centre in Tallaght are to begun industrial action today in a row over pay and staffing levels.

The ‘work-to-rule’ action will not affect emergency calls being received at the ambulance e service 999/112 call centre.

The unions decision to proceed with industrial action follows the failure of last minute talks on Friday in an effort to resolve issues between SIPTU and the HSE.

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Pic: HSE NAS Emergency Operations Centre

John McCamley od Siptu said it was regrettable his members had no option but to implement a work-to-rule. The action was scheduled for earlier in the month but was delayed to allow for negotiations. Mr. McCamley said however, “due to the failure of senior HSE management to properly engage with Siptu representatives these negotiations failed to materialise.”

He said “The failure of HSE management to honour a number of agreements arrived at following negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission regarding staffing levels, the filling of permanent vacancies, payment of correct pay rates and retention of emergency call takers”.

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Roscommon Town ambulance moved to Loughglynn to improve response times

The new ambulance base at Loughglynn, Co. Roscommon is being operated by a crew from Roscommon town, and is expected to reduce response times to the west of the county by 20 minutes.

Speaking at a recent meeting of the Regional Health Forum West, Pádraig O’ Riordan, Area Operational Manager with the HSE National Ambulance Service confirmed that the Loughglynn base was open and being operated by one of the crews from Roscommon Town.

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He also reported that one third of calls to Roscommon originated from the West Roscommon/East Mayo area. “Roscommon is no more challenging than other areas across the country. However, the challenges we have is that al lot of the rural stations are being pulled to the urban areas” he said.

Responding to a question by Councillor Tony Ward who queried the services fleet and response times in the county, Mr. O’ Riordan referred to the recent Lightfoot report and said at the moment ambulances in the west were meeting the 19 minutes’ response time in about 55% of calls. He also said the service could improve this by an extra 10 or 15% with additional resources.

There are eight emergency ambulances, two raid response vehicles and two intermediate care vehicles in the county Roscommon. The EA’s are staffed mainly with paramedics and advanced paramedics, where available. The RRV are staffed by AP’s and the ICV’s are staffed by EMT’s.

Area Operations Manager O’ Riordan said “The National Ambulance Service deploys ambulance crews sin a dynamic manner and crews operating in adjoining stations can, if necessary, be deployed to Roscommon. The same principal applies across the west and the remainder of the country with the National Emergency Operations Centre NEOC deploying crews to ensure optimum response and spatial spread crews” he said.

Loughglynn AMbulance Base Pic Denis Naughten
Pic: @denisnaughten Twitter

This should come as good news for local TD, Denis Naughten who earlier this year branded the failure by the HSE to provide the people of West Roscommon and East Mayo with a 24/7 ambulance service at Loughglynn, a ‘national disgrace’. The TD had been campaigning for a 24-hour ambulance base in the town for some time.

In January, Denis Naughten pointed out that the Ambulance Review report by HIQA described Loughglynn and West Roscommon/East Mayo as being one of three ‘well-known’ ambulance blackspot areas that remain without a dedicated ambulance resource’.

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RNLI launch free text messaging service to prevent dangerous tidal cut off in Sligo

The RNLI has launched an innovative free text message service aimed at preventing people getting caught out by dangerous tides when travelling to Coney Island in County Sligo

In what is the first of its kind in Ireland, the RNLI text messaging service is being introduced by the charity in a direct response to a coastal safety risk identified by the local community in Sligo.

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Photo: L-R: Frank Carter, Sligo Bay RNLI Coastal Safety Adviser, Rogan Wheeldon, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager, Michael and John McGowan, residents of Coney Island, Joe Henderson, Sligo Bay RNLI Coastal Safety Officer, Willie Murphy, Sligo Bay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager and to the front, Johnny Keaney Sligo Bay RNLI volunteer.

For years the causeway which provides access to Coney Island and the nature of its flooding tidal waters have presented a risk to the public who are unsure of the tide times and the appropriate times to cross from the mainland.

Sligo Bay RNLI has responded to numerous incidents around Coney Island that relate to tidal cut off and activities around the sandbanks and tidal channels. However, the volunteer lifeboat crews have often been restricted by water depth when attending these incidents especially during the crucial early phase of the flooding tide where people are starting to cut off or are bogged in.

It is hoped that the new text messaging system accompanied by signage directing people to the numbers to text, will encourage safer crossing and decision making.

Anyone planning to visit the island by car, bike or foot is encouraged to Text Coney to 53600 (from Republic of Ireland mobiles) or 81400 (from Northern Ireland/UK mobiles) to find out the safe crossing times for that day.*

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Photo: Local representatives with Sligo Bay RNLI volunteers and Coney Island residents.

The RNLI will reply with information on the best times subject to good weather conditions along with key safety messages reminding users to always leave extra time to return safely to the mainland, to never attempt to cross if the strand is covered with water and in the event of an emergency to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Speaking at the launch of Text Coney today, Rogan Wheeldon, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager said: ‘This is a perfect example of a community on the coast identifying a risk and working collaboratively to help save lives at sea. By providing the public with the relevant information to make safer choices when accessing the coast it reduces their risk, the risk to our  lifeboat crew, and also to those in the community that are putting their own lives at risk to help those in trouble’.

Joe Henderson, Sligo Bay RNLI Coastal Safety Officer added: ‘Over recent years our lifeboat crew at Sligo Bay RNLI has been called out many times to rescue people who have been caught out by the tide.  As part of the RNLI’s work in prevention of accidental drowning we now have this wonderful texting system in place with good signage here at The Causeway and we really want to make people aware that is here and encourage locals and visitors alike to get texting when planning a visit to the beautiful Coney Island. We would like to thank everyone involved in bringing this development to fruition including the residents of Coney Island and Sligo County Council.’

The Text Coney launch comes a week after the RNLI launched Respect the Water, its annual national accidental drowning prevention campaign which will run throughout the Summer.

Respect the Water aims to highlight the risk of accidental drowning when people are near the coastline by encouraging safer behaviour both in and around the water.

The campaign is primarily aimed at males aged between 16 and 39 but the same advice is relevant for anyone visiting the coast.

The RNLI is warning of the key dangers that can lead to accidental drowning – cold water, unexpected entry into the water, and rip currents and waves.

Photos: Courtesy RNLI