A HSE Ambulance Paramedic was injured in a fall at an ambulance base in Navan, Co. Meath while he was working alone, as there was no cover available for another paramedic on the night-time roster.
The incident happened on December 9th when the paramedic slipped and fell. As there was no assistance available in the building at the time of the incident, the injured ambulance worker made a 999 call on his mobile phone. An Ambulance crew responded to the call and was in attendance within 15 minutes.
Further assistance was required however when it became known to attending paramedics that they had to spinally immobilise the patient and move him onto a stretcher. Navan Fire Brigade was called to assist the Ambulance Crew..
It is understood the HSE employee is still unable to work due to his injury.
The issue was raised by Sinn Fein TD for Meath West Peadar Toibin. He expressed is shock at the burden of the health service cuts being placed on front-line staff. He said: “Here we have an example where cuts are so damaging to the ability of staff to carry out their role that a supposed funding saving only leads to injury and extra expense in the long run. It is absolutely shocking that the burden of the health service cuts are being placed squarely on the shoulders of the front-line emergency staff to their physical detriment.”
In response, the HSE National Ambulance Service confirmed that Ambulance Control requested assistance from the fire service to this call-out, as a matter of routine and as per normal practice. However, while the National Ambulance Service does not comment on any individual member of staff, it can confirm that paramedics can work on their own and the HSE lone-worker policy provides guidance.