Fire service proposal ‘would save lives’

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Inishowen could run a ‘pilot scheme’ to explore members of the fire service acting as ‘first responders’ in incidents of cardiac arrest.

Speaking at this week’s Inishowen Municipal District meeting, Councillor Martin McDermott said that while the issue of a second ambulance for Inishowen was separate matter and his proposal did not dilute that fact, members of the fire service were trained in responding to these incidents and in many occasions could reach patients before an ambulance would. He said he believed the scheme could be something Inishowen could ‘“take the lead” on and pointed out how the peninsula has three stations, Carndonagh, Buncrana and Moville, meaning responders could be on the scene quickly and effectively. He added: “I think it’s something we definitely need to have a discussion about.”

The proposal was widely welcomned by his fellow Inishowen councillors. Councillor Nicholas Crossan pledged his support, pointing out how there were many services in Inishowen such as the coast guard and RNLI. He said an “overall co-ordinated approach” was needed in relation to this proposal within the emergency services, led by the ambulance service. He said: “This is something Inishowen could be pushing out and I agree with Councillor McDermott.”

Councillor Jack Murray said the system could be “a huge help” within the peninsula and said the fight for greater ambulance cover would still continue. Councillor Bernard McGuinness said he was a member of HSE West and said Councillor McDermott’s proposal “makes sense and it can and will save lives.” Colr McDermott asked for a meeting with Gary Martin, the Council’s Director of Service for Emergency Services. Aideen Doherty, area manager said she could “certainly” arrange this.