The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service has apologised to the family of a Tyrone man who was left lying waiting for an ambulance for two hours after a tractor rolled on top of him.
A spokesperson from the NIAS offered to meet with the family to discuss the incident and issue a personal apology.
Noel Moss was critically injured following an accident which took place his home just ten miles from Castlederg last Tuesday night.
The ambulance which eventually arrived to take him to hospital had to be deployed from Ballyshannon.
The local farmer is still in the high dependency unit of Altnagelvin Hospital after suffering a broken jaw, collar bone, punctured lung, broken ribs and fractured pelvis.
Speaking to the Journal the Moss family said the two hour wait was unacceptable.
Daughter Marie revealed how her father who has Parkinson’s Disease had been injured when the tractor rolled over him, from his feet to his head.
“He got up afterwards and walked into the house and shouted for mammy,” she said.
The alarm was raised at 845 and while the first responder arrived on the scene within the hour the emergency ambulance did not arrive until 10:45 and had to be deployed from Ballyshannon in Donegal.
“Daddy was in awful pain,” said Marie, “but we got him calmed down. The Rapid Response paramedic gave him morphine.
“I myself drove from my home in Omagh, past Omagh hospital and I made it to the family home within 33 minutes.
“It was awful just sitting there waiting. We felt that if the ambulance didn’t come soon daddy would die.”
Son Kevin said the golden hour rule was breached and that the wait was too long.
“We didn’t know what had happened, he could have been bleeding internally. We just want some answers. The ambulance staff who were there gave him the best of care but we want to know why it took so long for the ambulance to arrive.”
Derg Sinn Féin Colr Kieran Mc Guire said this area continues to be a ‘black spot’ for emergency ambulance cover where the so-called Golden hour response time just does not apply.
“I along with other Sinn Fein representatives for the Castlederg/Aghyaran area have been highlighting this problem with many unfortunate examples down the years and lobbying for full time provision to be made at Castlederg ambulance station to resolve the problem,” he said.
“We secured the full support for this demand from the former Strabane District Council but to date all this lobbying has fallen on deaf ears. The plight of Noel Moss shows that the time for Ambulance Service Chiefs to act is now long overdue.”
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “NIAS is focussed on providing the most appropriate and timely response to patients in life-threatening situations in order to ensure that treatment is provided at the earliest possible opportunity.
“NIAS received the call at 20:56 and immediately despatched a Rapid Response Paramedic to the scene, who arrived at 21:21 (actual response time was 23mins 13 secs). The Trust was unable to immediately allocate a transporting vehicle to support the RRV Paramedic as all crews in the area were engaged on other calls.
“During the call the RRV Paramedic contacted control to highlight the urgent need for an A&E crew to arrive. We were able to allocate a crew which had just cleared at SWAH at 21:32. We also contacted the National Ambulance Service in ROI, with whom we have a Memorandum of Understanding to provide mutual assistance in Border areas. They advised that they were able to despatch a crew who would be in a position to respond earlier than the NIAS crews despatched from Enniskillen.
“The NAS crew arrived at the scene at 22:26 and assisted the NIAS Paramedic before leaving the scene at 23:03 and taking Mr Moss to Altnagelvin Hospital. The NIAS RRV Paramedic accompanied the crew to the hospital.
“NIAS is happy to meet with Mr Moss and his family to discuss the incident and issue a personal apology.
In relation to Cllr McGuire’s claims about full time ambulance provision at Castlederg ambulance station, the Trust can confirm that the station is already a full time station.”