Fire brigade first responders successfully resuscitated an unresponsive patient as there was no HSE ambulance available in the area at the time.
The National Ambulance Service (NAS) was alerted to an emergency call at St Patrick’s Terrace in Kilkee, Co Clare at 2.47pm on Tuesday.
The nearest ambulance at the time was 60kms away in Ennis and so the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) alerted gardaí and the fire service and requested them to respond. It is understood the local ambulance for the area, based in Kilrush, was on another call at the time.
Firefighters from Kilkee, who were alerted at 2.55pm, arrived at the house within minutes and emergency first responders quickly set about treating the unresponsive man.
In the meantime, an advanced paramedic, specially trained in advanced life support skills, was also sent to the call in a rapid response vehicle, arriving about 20 minutes after the fire service.
Fire service personnel commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and administered several shocks with a defibrillator and had successfully resuscitated the patient before the ambulance service arrived.
The Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) air ambulance was also called and after the patient had been treated and stabilised at his home, he was transported by ambulance to the local GAA field where the helicopter was standing by. Gardaí and fire crews accompanied the ambulance to the landing site.
The patient was transferred to the helicopter and flown to University Hospital Limerick for treatment. The flight took just 15 minutes while the same journey by road would have taken over an hour.
A NAS spokesperson said the NEOC emergency dispatcher allocated the nearest available ambulance which responded from Ennis ambulance station and was supported by a rapid response vehicle with an advance paramedic, which arrived at the scene at 3.14pm.
“As this was a cardiac/respiratory arrest the NEOC notified the Garda, local fire service, and dispatched the Air Corps to the scene before the arrival of paramedics to the scene.
“The attending paramedics provided pre-hospital medical care before transferring the patient via Air Corps helicopter to University Hospital Limerick.”
A spokesman for Clare County Fire and Rescue Service said, in the county, fire service personnel are trained to Emergency First Responder level and are available to assist the NAS.
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