Ambulance service requires colossal investment to keep up with demand

national ambulance service

TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that the ambulance services provided by Dublin Fire Brigade and the National Ambulance Service need a colossal investment in both training and the ambulance fleet to keep up with the ever-growing demand on their services. Teachta Crowe was speaking after a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee where both services said that they were only able to respond to only 41% life-threatening situations within the target time of 19 minutes.
Teachta Crowe said “The Chief Fire Officer for Dublin Fire Brigade himself told the Oireachtas Health Committee recently that the combined resources of the National Ambulance Service and Dublin Fire Brigade cannot meet current ambulance demand in Dublin City and County. “That needs to be a wakeup call for government that there is something very wrong with the way they are resourcing our ambulance services. Dublin is a growing city, and we are simply not able to keep up.
“Ambulances were only able to respond to only 41% non-cardiac, life-threatening situations within the target time of 19 minutes. Every minute is vital in situations like these and we are failing both ambulance crews and the people who need them by putting them in impossible situations like that. “The Health Committee was told about the values of programmes like Pathfinder which aims to treat people, particularly the elderly, in their own homes as a means of keeping them out of hospital in the first instance. I fear that we are too slow in recognising the values of programmes like this and rolling them out across the wider health service.
“The training sector also needs to see a huge investment as currently we are simply not able to get enough newly trained paramedics into the system to cope with demand and people who are leaving or retiring. Currently, we send paramedics over to Britain for placement and a lot of them don’t come back as they are snapped up by the NHS. If we could train them at home, we might lessen that brain drain.
“The log jam in our Emergency Departments plays a huge role in the problem also. If ambulances are stuck outside of hospitals while the staff inside grapple with the overcrowding crisis, then they are not on the road heading to where they are needed next to save lives. “We need to see greater investment in training and new vehicles. We need to roll out programmes like Pathfinder to take the pressure off of our Emergency Departments. But what we need most is for the Government to take this seriously before it gets even worse and costs  even more.” 

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



Related News