The leader of the Fianna Fail Group on Dublin City Council, Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick, has insisted Dublin Fire Brigade must be allowed to continue to provide the emergency ambulance service in Dublin and said any proposal from the HSE to take over the running of the service should be rejected outright.
Cllr Fitzpatrick has met with representatives of the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Service to discuss growing concerns over the potential negative impact there may be on the quality of service if responsibility is transferred to the HSE.
Cllr Fitzpatrick said after the meeting: “Any move to transfer control of Dublin’s ambulance service to the HSE must be resisted. Particularly disturbing is the inference that this change could be used to save money. The reality is that HSE has been consistently underfunding ambulance services in Dublin for years. Dublin Fire Brigade receives only 7% of the HSE national funding for emergency ambulance services despite the fact that Dublin Fire Brigade responds to 35% of all the emergency calls countrywide. Dublin City Council has to step in every year to meet the funding shortfall.”
She said there has to be a real commitment to the continued delivery of the ambulance service by the Fire Brigade which had been providing the service in Dublin for 150 years. “Dublin Fire Brigade has been providing a consistently high quality ambulance and para medic response service across the city and county and any move to dilute this reliable service as a cost cutting exercise should be rejected.”