The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA) said today (Tuesday) the key to solving the issues with the ambulance services in Dublin was not in the amalgamation of the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) and HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS)control centres but in the establishment of a national integrated fire and ambulance service.

IFESA President, John Kidd said confidence in the fire and ambulance services in Dublin would be completely undermined if control for the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance service was transferred to the HSE ' s National Ambulance Service. He said IFESA welcomed the recent assurances from Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar that no changes would take place in the current arrangements until there was full consultation with all stakeholders, but City Manager Owen Keegan seemed intent on ignoring those commitments from the Minister.

‘ It is now time for Minster for the Environment, Alan Kelly to rein in the City Manager on this issue and protect the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Service for the people of Dublin.

‘ It would be totally bizarre if the running of the DFB ambulance service were to be handed over to the NAS which has been discredited on so many occasions because of its failure to manage the ambulance services throughout the country. Its record of mismanagement, which is most evident in the failure to meet response times and which has cost lives, is appalling. In contrast the DFB which receives just 8% of the NAS budget handles 60% of all emergency calls in the state and has achieved in the past the second highest success rate for survival of cardiac arrests after Seattle ' .

‘ The real problem for the ambulance service in Dublin which the NAS ignores, is not the control of the emergency call centre but the lack of investment in providing more ambulances for the city. The current call volume is simply unsustainable given the resources and number of ambulances available in the city ' .

Media Contacts: John Kidd, President IFESA 087 6588999 Ros Mac Cobb Vice President 0872164533