Ambulance delayed 20 minutes in emergency call by haphazardly parked cars

An ambulance rushing to attend a 65 year old-woman who collapsed with a heart condition was delayed for over 20 minutes by haphazardly parked cars.

Ambulance delayed 20 minutes in emergency call by haphazardly parked cars

An ambulance rushing to attend a 65 year old-woman who collapsed with a heart condition was delayed for over 20 minutes by haphazardly parked cars.

The incident, one of two involving emergency vehicles in only the last fortnight, has heightened fears at Ardmore, west Waterford, that traffic congestion on its narrow roads could have fatal consequences.

Bríd Foley collapsed while attending a farmers’ market & car boot sale in a field on the village outskirts with her son and grandchild.

While a nearby nurse and first responder attended to the stricken woman, an ambulance rushed from Dungarvan, 22 km away. But cars parked along the secondary road serving the area stalled its progress.

The vehicle was again delayed when keys for a height barrier were unobtainable.

Paramedics eventually walked and half carried Bríd to the ambulance, which brought her to hospital.

“I’m not angry”, she said. “But I’m concerned that next time whoever it is won’t be so fortunate."

Last weekend Ardmore fire brigade, on a non-emergency mission, was unable to travel a similar route due to parked vehicles attending the annual Pattern festival.

Ardmore Tidy Towns Chairman Bill Ramsell described the main street as “completely blocked” throughout the day. Wheelchair access was also severely comprised by cars parked on footpaths.

Mr Ramsell warned the summer congestion is “getting worse by the year”.

Thousands of visitors travel to the picturesque village off the N25, lured by the markets, beach, cliff top walk and various retail units.

One local fire officer warns that this juncture is also “of concern” due to parked vehicles.

A spokesman for Waterford Council said the long term solution is alternative access to the beach car park from the Dungarvan road, with the main car park expanded at an estimated cost of €2m.

With traffic congestion restricted to “a couple of Sundays every year and weather dependent” he says, the expenditure would be unjustified.

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