Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: Ambulance waiting times

Mattie Fox

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Mattie Fox

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Ambulance times

Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox believes Longford Co GAA board need to employ measures to ensure ambulance response times are swift when players require emergency treatment at sporting fixtures

Let’s be clear.

The Government, or HSE, or the Health service is responsible for treating our citizens properly.

It is expected that the health service could provide at least, ambulances waiting and ready in every county, to serve sudden accidents.

It is the responsibility of the Health Service to provide ambulance care.

However, we all know that the health service is creaking at the seams, and whatever the rights and wrongs of this system, we are being forced to accept how it is.

It’s scandalous, we know that, but nothing much we can do about it since not enough of us are energised enough to march, and march, and march, again and again.

I’ve watched now, on three previous occasions, the plight of someone who is injured in a Gaelic football match.

An incident happens, someone gets injured, and someone calls the ambulance.

The injured party lies in pain, on the ground. They are lucky if this happens in Summer, but ironically it seems most of those incidents happen more frequently in Winter.

The ground is cold, and wet, and deeply damp and unforgiving.

One occasion I watched as all in the ground waited for over 46 minutes before an ambulance arrived.

On another occasion I waited so long that I had to leave with the cold.

I left after 35 minutes waiting. At least I was standing up.

The third occasion it happened and I admit I left after 15 minutes.

On Sunday last a player got injured and lay on the ground for over 50 minutes before the ambulance arrived.

A defibrillator was introduced and the young man became stable.

I genuinely felt sorry for the player, his family, club mates and officials present.

The fact that such incidents happen is part and parcel of football matches, it could happen any young man at any time.

I know it’s not strictly their responsibility but the county board must take steps to help prevent this constant waiting and waiting for the ambulance service.