The director of the HSE’s national ambulance service, Martin Dunne says that army ambulances have been used today and that all calls have been answered.
He told RTE’s News at One that calls are triaged through advanced medical priority dispatch and that the army personnel are fully trained paramedics who regularly undertake training exercises with HSE ambulance personnel.
A comprehensive and “robust” contingency plan was in place today to deal with the PNA strike by 500 ambulance staff, he said.
“We have used the army. Their vehicles are of the same standard and they are fully trained paramedics.”
This morning there were 265 calls to the national ambulance service which is as per usual, he said.
“It has been a challenging morning, we have been monitoring the situation closely. The number of calls received was normal and they were all responded to in a timely fashion.
“All ambulance staff just want to give care to patients.”
Mr Dunne said that the PNA was not recognised as the union to negotiate for staff.
“We’re not out to disenfranchise anyone.”