Incident at underage Shield Final

Leitrim teenager left waiting an hour and 20 minutes for ambulance

Two ambulances dispatched were diverted to other cases.

Leitrim Observer Reporter


Leitrim Observer Reporter

A teenager who sustained a broken leg in a U15 Shield Final in Fenagh was left waiting over an hour and 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

Cllr Padraig Fallon was at the fixture between Drumkeerin and St Brigid's on Tuesday evening, September 5, and he told the Leitrim Observer the youth was injured shortly before half time.

An  ambulance was called by a member of team management at 7.14pm, giving not only details of the injury, but also the GPS location of the incident.

"The call lasted 3 minutes, 15 seconds, the caller went through all details, nature of injury, location and was told don't move the injured individual that an ambulance would be dispatched as soon as possible, that this ambulance would be coming from Longford," noted Cllr Fallon.

"The same caller called back at 7.26pm to make sure ambulance was on route only to be told ambulance now coming from Cavan an hour away as other ambulance now diverted.

"At 7.54pm he was told ambulance on route, but at  8.13pm when he ran again - an hour after first call - he was told the ambulance was now coming from Carrick-on-Shannon."

An ambulance later arrived on scene at 8.35pm, an hour and 21 minutes after the first call was placed.

Cllr Fallon has since sent a letter to the head of the National Ambulance Service and asking for an explanation on why there was such a lengthy delay in responding to this incident.

"It was an unacceptable length of time for a young man to be lying on a pitch in pain," said Cllr Fallon. "The ambulance crew who arrived at the scene were very professional and they apologised for the delay, but what happened with the other two ambulances?" he asked.

"I am told that the incident was not classed as high priority, as a result ambulance could not travel with siren and flashing lights, why is this, surely the objective must or should be be to arrive as quickly as possible," he added.

"I think there obviously needs to be a review of the dispatching of ambulances in this area. It is clear there isn't enough ambulances or ambulance crews employed and that needs to be addressed. What would have happened if there was another incident or two in Leitrim or the north west? How long would this young man have been waiting for an ambulance then?"

The HSE were contacted for comment but have not yet issued a statement in response.