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Dublin: 2°C Monday 17 January 2022
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Ambulance took almost an hour to reach Kerry man injured in 'freak' GAA accident

Another ambulance, manned by just one person, responded first – but was unable to bring the man for the medical attention he needed.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

AN UMPIRE AT a Gaelic football match in Kerry on Saturday was left waiting in agony for over an hour for an ambulance to take him to hospital.

Another ambulance, manned by just one person, responded first – but was unable to bring the man for the medical attention he needed, as a two-person crew is needed.

The incident occurred at Con Keating Park in Cahersiveen and the umpire was injured in what was described by a witness as a “freak accident”.

John Falvey, who is the South Kerry Board’s PRO, said the ball was dropping into the goal mouth and the players were running to get it.

One of them collided with the umpire and he fell, injuring himself.

Falvey said he believes it was some kind of break injury and The Kerryman reported the man had recently undergone major surgery on his hip.

The National Ambulance Service confirmed in a statement that that an emergency call was received at 3.35pm on Saturday, and says “the nearest available emergency resource was immediately dispatched to the scene”.

“Due to an unforeseen short-notice absence one paramedic responded to the emergency call initially in an emergency ambulance and treated the patient at the scene while another ambulance was dispatched to transport the patient to hospital.

“The second ambulance arrived at the scene at 16:23hrs.”

A spokesperson explained:

To transport any patient in an ambulance you must have two paramedics, one driving and one with the patient. The first paramedic attended to the patient and knowing he couldn’t transport him, contacted the other ambulance.

Falvey said if a similar incident had happened on a Saturday in Dublin “people would be really kicking up a fuss about it,” adding:

“I think they’re treating us as second class citizens… It’s utterly unacceptable.”

Read: HSE says achieving ambulance response times in rural areas is ‘always a difficult task’>

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