While Ireland went through a massive boom in finances in recent years, it would appear that some necessary improvements to the way we care for our citizens and visitors who become involved in accidents or sudden illness was ignored. We wonder why we are the only modern European country without a dedicated Air Ambulance service. We also wonder why on occasions we, as fire and emergency service personnel, end up on the sides of our roads waiting for emergency road ambulance crews to arrive to administer medical assistance to seriously injured or ill casualties. This wait can on a lot of occasions be of unacceptable lengthy duration and unfortunately sometimes too late.
We accept that these delays are no fault of the Ambulance Personnel but the system in which they work where there is not enough Emergency Ambulance Crews and vehicles or where they are delayed at hospitals because of the closure of wards and over crowding at the larger hospitals etc.
With this in mind it is totally unacceptable that the Emergency Department in Roscommon Hospital and Portlaoise Hospital be closed or downgraded in any manner. It is the view of NRFA that this will cause further delays in getting the seriously injured and ill to an emergency department and will ultimately lead to un-necessary suffering and indeed the death of some.
We the National Retained Fire Fighters Association of Ireland oppose any change to Roscommon County Hospital and Portlaoise Hospital Emergency Depts. which will lead to any further suffering of people who require rapid medical intervention.