Staff shortage leads to Garda driving injured child to hospital in ambulance

It has emerged that a Garda Sergeant in County Meath had to drive an ambulance with an injured child to hospital last week, because of a shortage of paramedic staff on duty.

The National Ambulance Service Representative Association has said lives are being put at risk due to the shortage of staff.

The incident happened near Dunsany after a car containing three children and a woman veered off the road and dropped 30 feet before hitting a tree.

One of the ambulances at the scene had a sole crew member which meant the Garda had to jump behind the wheel.

Mick Dixon, National Chairman of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association, says lives are being put at risk.

He said: "It is going to be an ongoing issue, this really is a cost-cutting measure, it's about saving money.

"Really, it's not about saving lives, it's about putting lives at risk as well and I think somewhere along the way an incident will happen where somebody will lose their life.

"It is a risk that the management and the HSE are taking."

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