An ambulance paramedic was left stranded at a filling station in Co Laois after a ‘disagreement’ with a colleague who drove off and left him 100kms from his base, writes Patrick Flynn.
The alleged incident occurred last Saturday night as two Tipperary based National Ambulance Service (NAS) paramedics were returning to their base in Clonmel, Co Tipperary after completing a patient transfer call in Dublin.
According to sources, the paramedic had expressed concern about his partner’s driving and asked them repeatedly to slow down.
The driving paramedic is reported to have pulled off the motorway and into a filling station in Portlaoise Co Laois and dropped their colleague off before driving away again.
After staff at the ambulance control centre were notified, an ambulance was dispatched from Roscrea in Tipperary to collect the stranded paramedic.
As a result, North Tipperary was left with depleted emergency ambulance cover for several hours while, at the same time, the county's rapid response unit was also off the road.
The Roscrea crew then transported the paramedic 50kms from Portlaoise to Urlingford on the Tipperary/Kilkenny border.
Another ambulance service member, not believed to have been on duty at the time, collected the paramedic in Urlingford and drove him to Clonmel a further 60kms away.
The HSE has not answered specific questions in relation to the matter including whether an investigation is underway; whether a formal complaint has been made about the incident or whether the staff members involved are still on duty.
A spokesperson said however: "The National Ambulance Service can confirm that on Saturday 22nd July last, a disagreement arose between two NAS Staff, at the end of their shift. Local NAS management are working with the staff to resolve the issue.”