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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 22 January, 2020
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A broken nose, a house party and too much booze - after dark on a Dublin ambulance

In the second of our two-part Dublin ambulance series, TheJournal.ie followed a crew as they dealt with a host of alcohol-related incidents around the city.

Image: © TheJournal.ie

LAST NIGHT WE brought you the first of our two-part video series following a Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance crew, which showed paramedics treating a cyclist injured in a collision and a young boy with a suspected spinal injury.

The city centre was buzzing with crowds celebrating the Gay Pride festival and as these festivities continued into the night, calls flooded into the control room.

From midnight onwards, every incident that the crew on ambulance D24 from Dolphin’s Barn attended was alcohol-related. This call, about a young woman who was said to be passed out in the street, was described by the paramedics as “a very common case”:


This incident, classed as an overdose because it involved an excess of alcohol, was called in by a passerby in the street and the crew said bystanders often give very limited information to the control room, making it difficult to gauge how serious a case will be before they arrive.

“That means you can’t make an assessment of what’s wrong so you have no choice but to send a resource,” one paramedic told TheJournal.ie. “A lot of the time there’s nothing medically wrong with them, they’re just intoxicated and it’s a major drain on resources on busy nights.”

At 3.30am, the crew returned to the station for the first time since 7pm the previous evening.

“We’ve probably done about ten cases there now and as you can see, the majority of them – 99 per cent of them – have been alcohol-related,” paramedic Darren O’Connor explained. “We’ll go in now and get a cup of tea and wait for the bells to go again.”

Five minutes later, the bells sounded in the station.

A 19-year-old male has fallen face-first on the pavement after trying to jump over a railings.

His nose was broken and he had swallowed a lot of his own blood, which is why he can been seen vomiting in the back of the ambulance.

There was a large group of teens with the 19-year-old, who had been drinking, and while they were all “in good spirits”, the crew said a situation like that can quickly turn ugly.

“They were no trouble but it’s the type of situation that could turn on you, you could be walking into aggro, but at the end of the day you’re there to treat what’s going on,” one of the paramedics said.

Trouble at a house party

One of the last calls of the night was to the scene of a house party where two people had collapsed at the same time. A fire truck from the Tallaght Station had been sent on ahead of the ambulance to stabilise the man and woman at the house.


Paramedics asked them continuously if they had taken any drugs but all four people in the house said they had just been drinking. One of the paramedics said people will “rarely tell you when they’ve taken something and it can really throw you off”.

As the sun came up, the crew continued to attend incidents until the end of their shift at 10am, including a patient with lockjaw, a woman locked out of her house after returning from a night out and a dispute between an elderly couple who had been drinking.

- All images and video © TheJournal.ie with thanks to Penny-Merelle Gray for some editing.

Did you miss the first part of the series last night? If so, you can watch it here.

Related: ‘Car vs pedestrian’ and a 10-foot fall – a Saturday shift on a Dublin ambulance>

VIDEOS: A day in the life of the Dublin Airport Fire Service>

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