Lack of cover led to fatal ambulance delay

Paramedic crews ‘regularly’ not replaced in HSE cutbacks

Ambulances Carn

A shortage of ambulance cover contributed to the 50 minute delay in an ambulance attending Maura Porter, the Carndonagh woman who died after being struck by a car near her home last week, a source in the Ambulance Service has claimed.

The source, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution from Ambulance Service management, said that the failure to replace an unavailable crew in Letterkenny last week left Inishowen without ambulance cover once the Carndonagh-based ambulance responded to another call.

“It’s all well and good if Letterkenny has capacity, but they can’t always backfill to cover Carndonagh when the crew there are responding to a call,” the source said.

“There was a crew down in Letterkenny last week, and I don’t believe management made an effort to backfill that shift. They may claim they did, but it didn’t happen.They needed to do whatever it took to ensure that the shift was filled.”

Mrs Porter lay dying on the roadside while an ambulance was dispatched from Letterkenny. This was despite the fact that the incident happened less than a mile from the Carndonagh ambulance base, where vehicles that could have ferried the injured woman to hospital, sat unmanned and idle.

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