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Crash victims wait at least 45 minutes on ambulance in south Armagh

Councillor claims some emergency calls took more than 45 minutes to respond

Ambulances called for a the more serious of emergencies in south Armagh took more than 45 minutes on three occasions, according to one local councillor.

A ‘Category 1’ call should be attended within eight minutes.

Last month, three injured motorists were forced wait for 90 minutes for an ambulance to show up following a three-car pile in Crossmaglen.

Councillor Barra Ó Muirí raised the on-going issue of ambulance call outs to south Armagh at a special meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down Council this week.

The Sinn Fein representative asked if this was realistic for an ambulance to reach parts of Dorsey or Newtownhamilton in life or death situations.

He pointed to three occasions where it had taken an ambulance more than 45 minutes to reach a category 1 call in Newtown, Cregganduff and most recently in Crossmaglen and stated that the time had come to look for alternatives to compliment, not to replace the ambulance service.

Mr Ó Muirí pointed to the Pilot Scheme in Lurgan, where the Fire and Rescue Service were alerted to emergency calls about cardiac/respiratory arrest and chest pain and urged that a similar scheme be trialled in south Armagh.

As well as this, Mr Ó Muirí asked for closer working relations with ambulance services in Louth and Monaghan, stating how ambulances regularly attend incidents in each other’s jurisdiction, he asked that this arrangement could be formalised to the mutual benefit of all.

He told the Chief Executive that by “collaboration with Fire and Rescue Service, and stronger North/South links, the people of south Armagh could finally get the Ambulance service that they deserve”.

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