Ambulance takes over an hour to arrive at Cork car crash scene

An ambulance sent to a car crash in Cork city arrived more than an hour after the 999 call was received, by which time the injured parties had left the scene, writes Joe Leogue and Eoin English

A source told the Irish Examiner that one injured party was brought to hospital by Garda car when it became apparent a second ambulance would take some time to reach the accident.

The National Ambulance Service confirmed that it received a 999 call at 23.52 on Friday, September 16, after a two-car crash on the Rochestown Rd, and that it had an ambulance on the scene by 23.59. It also confirmed that a second ambulance arrived at the scene more than an hour after the initial 999 call was received, by which time the remaining parties had left.

“Initial reports from the scene indicated that there was one patient injured,” the NAS said in a statement.

“The call was triaged using the Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System and the nearest available emergency ambulance with an Advanced Paramedic on board was dispatched to the incident and arrived at the scene at 23.59hrs,” the NAS said. It said this ambulance took one person to hospital.

“A second ambulance was required at the scene and was immediately dispatched but was subsequently redirected to a higher acuity incident,” the statement said.

“Another emergency ambulance was dispatched and subsequently, a closer emergency ambulance became available and was dispatched to the incident and arrived at the scene at 00.59hrs. On arrival at the scene, the second NAS crew were informed that the patients had left the scene before their arrival,” it said.

The Garda Press Office said its records show two people were taken to hospital by ambulance. “We attended the scene of a two-car crash on Rochestown Rd, Cork at 23.55 on the 16th. Our report shows two people taken to hospital from the scene by ambulance.” The Garda Press Office maintained this position even after this paper highlighted the discrepancy between this account and the information of the NSA.

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