50 new paramedic posts in the west


East Galway TD Paul Connaughton has today welcomed news that 50 new paramedics posts are to be provided in the west of Ireland.
‘The new paramedics will staff ambulance stations at Tuam and Mulranny and will also be included in regular rostering. The ambulance service is to move from on-call rostering to on-duty rostering. On-call rostering means paramedics are at home waiting to be called out, which results in an average 20 minute delay in ambulance dispatching. The move to on-duty rostering, where staff will be in their stations or vehicles, will improve response times.
‘The budget increase of €5.4 million this year will also help the continued funding of the air ambulance service, which has saved so many lives in our localities in recent years. Minister Varadkar is looking at proposals to establish that service on a permanent basis and is in discussions with the Minister for Defence in relation to this.
‘Another element of the improvement to the service is the expansion in the number of community first response teams, particularly in rural and sparsely populated areas. These are volunteer groups registered and trained to a certified standard. The National Ambulance Service contacts these local responders when there is a cardiac emergency in the area. The responder arrives before the ambulance crew and applies their cardiac training, increasing the person’s chance of survival. At the moment there are over 100 such teams operating around the country and more are being developed.
‘Today’s announcement of 50 additional posts in the west represents significant investment in front-line health services and the move to on-duty rostering and the continuation of the air ambulance service will see significant improvements in terms of ambulance services in the west.’