Paramedics can counter ambulance shortage

Killarney town could be without aambulance for hours

THE training and recruitment of more advanced paramedics could make a real difference to the under pressure health service in Killarney where, very often, an ambulance is not available when most needed, a local elections candidate has insisted.

Neily O’Connor said just one transfer ambulance and one urgent care vehicle are covering the greater Killarney area and if they are deployed elsewhere, the town could be without an ambulance service for hours.

Neily O’Connor: Wants more advanced paramedics

“There are currently eight full-time and two relief advanced paramedics in Killarney, providing cover 24 hours a day and there is clearly a need to train more members of the public,” said Mr O’Connor who is a Fianna Fail candidate in the Killarney Municipal District.

He pointed out that advanced paramedics can administer complex drugs, including medication for cardiac patients, asthmatics and people suffering seizures, and they are qualified to set up drips to administer intravenous fluids and ventilate people with advanced airway techniques.
To become an advanced paramedic takes 10 months and it involves three months distance learning, followed by five months in the classroom, on hospital placements, and working in ambulances. The course is being run by the National Ambulance Training School in the Phoenix Park in conjunction with UCD.
“There is a need for more medical expertise and additional ambulances for events and festivals and during peak season in Killarney. More often than not we have no ambulance and there is a need to train more advanced paramedics so we have one present at all times.

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