Pain Management & Penthrox at Medical Conference

The Order of Malta hosted it’s second Advanced Life Support (ALS) programme for its members with a day-long training and workshop conference which took place in Athlone, Co. Westmeath yesterday.

The ALS conference provides instructors and members with further insights into training and developments when dealing with many aspects of life saving.

Last year’s saw the first such conference and following its success, event organiser Tommy Maguire decided to bring it to a second year.

The theme for this year’s Order of Malta ALS Conference is MEDICAL.

The conference was sponsored by Galen Limited, a Northern Ireland company who licensed rights to Penthrox, an inhalation delivered formulation of the pain drug methoxyflurane which is self-administered. Penthrox is known as the ‘green whistle’.

The ALS Conference was open to Student Paramedics, Paramedics, Advanced Paramedics, Student Nurses, Nurses, Medical Students and Doctors within the Order of Malta.

Some of the most respected professionals within pre-hospital care in Ireland delivered interesting talks and presentations and there was plenty of questions and feedback from the audience.  

Among the speakers and topics discussed were:

Dr. David Menzies, ED Consultant – Pre-Hospital Pain Management.

Dr. Lisa Guthrie – on Pre-Hospital Acute Myocardial Infraction

Advanced Paramedic Brendan Whelan – Cardiology & 12 Less ECG interpretation

Advanced Paramedic Ian Brennan – Clinical Audits

Dr. Lisa Cunningham – Pre-Hospital Thrombolysis in Ireland.

Following the presentations, the members took part in workshops involving Cardiology and ECG which was overseen by Dr. Lisa Cunningham.


The conference was organised by Tommy Maguire, an officer within the Order of Malta and an Advanced Paramedic with the National Ambulance Service. Following the conference, Tommy Maguire spoke to Emergency Times and said “Last year was our first conference and that proved very successful so we decided to run it again this year. We got a great response for everyone and there was a strong enough attendance today. I want to thank all those who registered and attended and a special thanks to all their fantastic lecturer’s and support staff who made the day a great success”.

Photos: Declan Keogh /

Aldi’s ‘Charity Champ’ presents cheque to Irish Red Cross

An Irish Red Cross unit has benefited from Aldi’s new community charity support fund. Aldi announced this week that the Bandon branch of Irish Red Cross in West Cork were awarded the volunteer group with a cheque for €500 in recognition of its tremendous work within the local community. The funds will also help support the vital service in the West Cork area.

Finbar McCarthy, Group Buying Director at Aldi Ireland said, “We are delighted our Bandon store employees have chosen to support the Irish Red Cross Bandon Branch, as they play a pivotal role in bettering the local community as a whole. Supporting the local communities our stores serve is something that we truly believe in and we are proud to be contributing to the important work done by charities and not for profit organisations across County Cork through our community support fund.” 

Photo by: Darragh Kane. (Pic: Courtesy West Cork Times)

Gerry O’ Sullivan is Aldi’s Bandon store ‘Charity Champion’ and he presented the grant of €500 to Barry O’Donovan, Secretary, Irish Red Cross Bandon Branch.

Aldi’s community support fund programme provides each Aldi employee with the opportunity to nominate a charity, community group or not-for-profit organisation within their local community for support. Nominated charities are assessed according to a defined selection criteria, with the organisation deemed the most worthwhile receiving a €500 donation from Aldi. 

Each of Aldi’s 128 Irish stores has been allocated an individual annual bursary fund and a “Charity Champion” assigned to co-ordinate the programme at a local level and work closely with the local charities and not-for-profit organisations. The programme aims to make a difference to the communities Aldi’s stores’ serve, focusing on helping develop Ireland’s youth, combat food poverty and improve the wellbeing of families.

*Source: West Cork Times.

Offaly County Council awards tender for Ferbane Fire Station

The community of Ferbane, Co. Offaly are to get a newly build fire station.  The new station, when constructed will be connected to the current Municipal District Office in Gallen, Ferbane which is an important protected structure.

Offaly County Council have awarded the tender for construction of the new Ferbane Fire Station to Mayo based construction company Finna Construction Ltd. The project is being funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.  

960 Proposed Plan Ferbane Fire Station
Pic: (Artist impression of proposed new Ferbane Fire Station).
Courtesy: (Offaly County Council Planning Department)

On completion, the new station will provide the necessary facilities which are essential for the crew of Ferbane Fire Brigade and for the community that they respond to. These facilities will include; a dedicated training yard, training tower, lecture room, welfare facilities, fitness area and office space.

The station will also accommodate for 1 no. Class B Fire Appliance, 1 no. Water Tanker and 1 no. 4WD Jeep

Offaly Fire Ferbane Planning
Pic: (Signing of the Contracts)
Photo: (Offaly County Fire and Rescue Service)

Back Row (L to R): Fergal McGuire (Ferbane Station Officer), Niamh Kearns (Niall J Kearns & Company Ltd., Architects), Eoin O’Ceilleachair (Chief Fire Officer), Frank Heslin (Director of Services), Clive Duke (Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer), Sarah Delahunt (Ferbane Area Engineer)
Front Row (L to R): Cllr Eamon Dooley, Cllr Eddie Fitzpatrick (Cathaoirleach), Vincent Lydon (Finna Construction Ltd.), Brendan Heaney (Tobin Consulting Engineers)

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Man jailed following assault on Ambulance Staff

An Ambulance Technician is recovering after being assaulted on Wednesday last in West Bromwich, Birmingham in the UK.

The incident took place when West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) was called to Moor Street in West Bromwich on the evening of Wednesday, January 3rd. Mr Hornby was initially unconscious at the time of the call but after coming round he then became aggressive, leaving ambulance technician Robert Burness injured and with a blooded face.

Pic: (Ambulance Technician Robert Burness – WMAS)

A 25 year old man has been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison for assaulting the member of ambulance staff in West Bromwich. After pleading guilty to assault by beating, Donald Hornby, from Birmingham, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison on Thursday, 5th January and ordered to pay £265 in fines.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is disappointed at the sentence and questions if 12 weeks is enough.

In a statement to this evening, WMAS General Manager for Birmingham, Nathan Hudson, said: “We welcome the fact that a custodial sentence has been issued in this case but are disappointed it is not longer. Is 12 weeks enough for a serious assault on a member of ambulance staff who had been called to try and help the defendant?

“It is extremely disappointing that our staff suffer physical and verbal abuse when all they are trying to do is help members of the public with medical emergencies.”

Steve Elliker, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Regional Head of Security and Safety said: “It is completely unacceptable that ambulance staff, who are responding to help people who have serious medical conditions or injuries, should have to face violence and verbal abuse.

“The Trust has a zero tolerance policy in place and works extremely hard to bring the full weight of the law to bear on anyone who attacks our staff.  It is simply not acceptable that staff who are there to help people, suffer at the hands of patients, their relatives or other people at the scene. Any type of assault against our staff will not be tolerated.”

 Police in Birmingham and the West Midlands Ambulance Service acted fast in bringing the accused to court and sentencing him for his actions.

Emergency Times wishes the ambulance technician a speedy recovery.

Coast Guard Response Jeep Vandalised

A vehicle belonging to the Irish Coast Guard was broken into its contents vandalised over the weekend.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the rear of the Dun Laoghoire based jeep was damaged and its medical and rescue contents were strewn all over the road. The IRCG response jeep was parked outside the Dun Laoghaoire base in the designated Coast Guard parking bay on the West Pier in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Pic: (Courtesy Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard)

At approximately 6.30am on Saturday morning, a member of the public reported to the Irish Coast Guard that the response had been damaged and informed them that its contents were scattered all over the road.  The rear window was smashed. Coast Guard volunteers gathered the remaining contents from the road.

Gardaí have been informed and are investigating the incident.

RTÉs Best Newcomer to perform at Bundoran RNLI 42nd Dinner Dance

Ireland’s fastest rising country music singer Cliona Hagan is to perform t this year’s Bundoran RNLI annual Dinner Dance which takes place at the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran, Co. Donegal on Friday 27th January.

Pic: (Cliona Hagan with RNLI Lifeboat volunteers Mark Vaughan, Dessie Daly and Brian Faulkner)
Photo: (Courtesy Bundoran RNLI)

Cliona was voted RTÉ’s Best Newcomer 2016.

The dinner dance is the flagship fundraising event for the RNLI in Bundoran and always attracts a huge attendance each year. Event Director Cormac McGurren said “This is a huge fundraising nght for us and we are forever grateful to our local supporters who come out in such great numbers each year. I’d also like to knowledge the sponsors of our raffle prizes who give so generously in January”.

Mr. McGuerren says this year’s event will be less formal with the provision of a buffet style Dinner Dance.

Bundoran RNLI & Crew
Pic: Bundoran Lifeboat crew at their RNLI station
(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

Cliona Hagan is from Co. Tyrone and has performed at several high profile events since the age of 9 when she performed at The Grand Opera House Belfast for the BBC Radio Ulster Christmas Spectacular. Cliona also performed “Silent Night” on RTÉ’S “Late Late Toy Show”, aged 12 and has continued to shine in the country music spotlight ever since.

Speaking at the launch of the RNLI charity Dinner Dance, Cliona said “I’m really looking forward to playing at this prestigious event and supporting this greta charity. I’ve heard such great things about the night and it promises to be a good one.”

Pic: (Courtesy Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat)

Tickets are on sale locally and from all lifeboat crew members in Bundoran. All funds raised on the night remain at the local lifeboat station in Bundoran which also helps to fund training and maintenance of the boathouse and lifeboat.

Tickets can be purchased from the following outlets:
BMG Hardware, Bundoran
McNern Barbers, Ballyshannon
Temptations Beaty Salon, Bundoran,
Bundoran Tourist Office.

A UK Ambulance Trust has shortage of paramedics despite excellent sustainability report.

There are currently 204 paramedic vacancies in the North West Ambulance Service which have yet to be filled, according to the Labour Party who released details following a request to the NHS Trust under Freedom of Information.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) NHS Trust said that paramedic recruitment is a national issue as there aren’t enough trained paramedics available to fill all vacancies. Emergency Times understands that the NHS Trust are to begin recruiting trained paramedics from overseas to fill posts and are currently relying on paramedics to work over-time to fill the gaps.

Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Jonathan Ashworth said “This news comes at a time when ambulance trusts are missing key targets to respond to serious calls, and A&E departments are bursting at the seams. Our paramedics work extremely hard to look after patients all year round, and the Government needs to act now to make sure hard working staff get the support they need to deliver safe care to patients when they need it most.”

Pic: (North West Ambulance Service Trust)

The North West Ambulance Service Trust was established on July 1st 2006 following the merging of Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Mersey regional ambulance trusts. The NWAS Trust is one of the largest ambulance trusts in the UK, with 5,000 staff operating from over 100 sites to a population of around seven million people.

In its Annual report publish this week, the NWAS sustainability report has been rated as ‘excellent’ by the Sustainable Development Unit. As well as being the only ambulance trust to have been rated as ‘excellent’, the Trust has also been included in a list of best practice examples supplied by the Sustainable Development Unit – which aims to advise other NHS trusts and CCGs on their sustainability reporting.

Fire authority members warned against backing government cuts to service

Firefighters in the UK have warned politicians that plans to axe 49 firefighter jobs at Avon Fire and Rescue Service represent an “unacceptable and dangerous” threat to the safety of the public.

Pic: (Avon FRS Aerial Platform)

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has reported that the proposals, which will be voted upon by fire authority members on 10 February, would see the downgrading of Yate fire station to a day crewed system, meaning an immediate response will only be available during the hours of 8am-5pm, with night cover being reduced to one on-call appliance only.

Photo: Yates Fire Station (Pic: Avon Fire & Rescue Service)

These changes, would also mean that specialist aerial appliances which are used for rescues from high rise buildings, could not be guaranteed for mobilisation and the heavy rescue special appliance in Avonmouth, used in serious road collisions, would no longer have a dedicated 24-hour crew seven days a week.

Photo: Avonmouth Fire Station (Pic: Avon Fire & Rescue Service)

Bristol’s Avon Fire and Rescue Service has responsibility for 21 fire stations in four Unitary authority’s or Municipal Districts. The four unitary areas are Bath & North East Somerset (5 stations), Bristol (4 stations), North Somerset (8 stations) and South Gloucestershire (4 stations). Avon’s fire brigade headquarters which became operational in November last year is located at Temple Fire Station, Temple Back in Bristol.

The FBU has said the combination of these cuts will mean slower response times to emergencies, increasing the risk to both firefighters and the public. The campaign against the potential cuts is being led by the FBU, whose campaigns also supported by Bristol MPs Kerry McCarthy, Thangam Debbonaire and Karin Smyth.

Last month, a joint letter from the MP’s was sent to the Home Office demanding that the government ‘give our firefighters the resources they need to keep us safe’. The FBU’s formal response to the public consultation, which closed on 31 December, calls for members of the Avon Fire and Rescue Authority at Temple Headquarters to reject the proposals saying ‘it is time to recognise the dangerous impact these cuts would have on public safety if they are voted through’.

Photo: Avon Headquarters at Temple Fire Station
(Pic: Avon Fire & Rescue Service)

Bristol firefighter and chair of the FBU in Avon is Gary Spindler. He said: “Firefighters in Avon believe these cuts would seriously compromise our ability to deal with emergency incidents and keep the public safe. They are a step too far and it’s time for the government to start listening and stop cutting. Firefighters have been out on the streets asking the public for support against these cuts and the response has been overwhelming. They took the time to listen to our concerns and offered us their support, signing our petition and expressing their alarm at these proposed cuts.”

“The measures are not supported by either the professionals who deliver the fire and rescue service or the public who receive it. If the consultation process is meaningful then the politicians who are proposing these cuts need to think again and make sure that the government gets the message. The fire and rescue service is a lifesaving emergency service which requires investment – not cuts.”


Suspect device made safe in County Kildare

An Army Bomb Disposal Team made safe a suspect device in a rural area near Monasterevin, Co. Kildare.

The Defence Forces deployed the Army Bomb Disposal Team on request from An Garda Síochána and arrived on the scene at 1.20pm. A cordon was established in the surrounding area and a number of houses were evacuated to ensure the safety of the residents.

The Army Bomb Disposal Team conducted an examination of the suspect device and the scene was declared safe at 2.25pm. 

Material of an evidential nature will be handed over to An Garda Síochána.