IMPACT welcomes suspension of Dublin ambulance review

IMPACT trade union has welcomed today’s announcement by the City Council that it will not be proceeding with its proposed review of Dublin’s ambulance service, pending the outcome of a national capacity review of the service, which was announced recently by the HSE.

The news came as several hundred firefighters marched on Dublin City Hall this evening, joined by supporters from their families, trade unions and members of the public. IMPACT’s national secretary for the union’s Municipal and Local Government divisions, Peter Nolan, said that the public demonstration was an opportunity for firefighters and their supporters to express their proud history of service to the city of Dublin.

“The Dublin ambulance service operates on little more than seven per cent of the national service budget, yet responds to somewhere between 35 and 40 per cent of ambulance calls nationally. That’s outstanding efficiency for a service delivered by dedicated men and women who do an excellent job. They face an uphill task every day, including the risk of assault and long delays at A&E departments.

“The decision by Dublin City Council to suspend this review is welcome. But we can be in no doubt that today does not mark the end of the campaign to protect the ambulance service, it is really only the beginning. It has been enormously encouraging to witness the warm support offered by people in the city centre this evening. That support shows the value and esteem in which the service is held.” he said.

Mr Nolan said that IMPACT’s Municipal division, representing workers in Dublin and Limerick local authorities, had today endorsed support for a campaign to rename Tara Street Fire Station after Dublin fire officer and founder of the ALONE organisation, Willie Bermingham. Mr Nolan said, “Willie Bermingham embodied a dedication to public service, and to the city of Dublin, which has been an inspiration to everyone who has worn the uniform of Dublin Fire Brigade ever since. It is fitting that we rename the station at Tara Street in his honour, and to recall today his extraordinary compassion and achievements as an officer with Dublin Fire Brigade.