Only one ambulance based in Killarney, says TD

Killarney had to rely on ambulances from outside the catchment area in two out of five emergencies as there is only one based locally, according to information released to Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil.

Only one ambulance based in Killarney, says TD

It is not known where the outside ambulances came from as this information is not available, the National Ambulance Service told the Kerry TD.

Most weekends throughout the year, Killarney’s population of more than 14,000 swells by several thousand and through the summer the town and its hinterland trebles in numbers.

Yet there is just one local ambulance, according to the new information. In 2016, there were 1,357 requests for ambulance support in Killarney and 573 of these required the support of ambulances not based in the area.

While he said there might be certain situations where an ambulance from a neighbouring area might be best placed to deal with an emergency call, the number being dealt with by external ambulances in Killarney was far too high.

“It’s clear to me that there simply aren’t enough ambulances located in the Killarney area to service the growing needs of the town and surrounding communities,” said Mr Brassil.

“We shouldn’t be relying on ambulances from other areas to look after the needs of local people. Killarney is a big town, with a large hinterland. The HSE, the National Ambulance Service and the minister need to commit to providing additional ambulance cover during the day and at night.

“There is at present just one ambulance covering the area locally. This is wholly inadequate.”

Oliver Reilly, assistant chief ambulance officer, told Mr Brassil the information on the 999 and 112 calls from Killarney to the service does not indicate where the unit was when it was dispatched to the incident in the Killarney area.

“It is important to note that the NAS will dispatch the nearest available resource to all incidents when they arise,” said Mr Reilly.

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