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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019
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Fire Brigade ambulance breaks down with patient on board

It was one of two breakdowns involving the service’s ambulances within the space of an hour this morning.

Image: File photo Photocall Ireland

A DUBLIN FIRE  Brigade ambulance broke down with a patient on board this morning. It happened at around 9am in Blanchardstown.

Another emergency vehicle was dispatched from Phibsborough, over 8km away, to transport the patient on to hospital.

In a separate incident, a mechanic was called in to address a problem with an ambulance at the fire service’s city centre base in Tara Street, after the vehicle failed to start.

Dublin Fire Brigade operates a fleet of 12 HSE-funded ambulances in the city. There are also four ‘reserve’ vehicles, which are used whenever one of the frontline vehicles needs repair.

A source familiar with the situation said the reserve ambulances were all “over six years old” and had more than 400,000 kilometres on the clock.

The source said the fleet was regularly breaking down, and that repairs were being made on a “reactive basis”.

“Some of them are virtually being held together with shoelaces. There’s problems with lights, problems with sensors. This isn’t a rare thing to happen.”

A spokesperson for Dublin Fire Brigade told TheJournal.ie they were “currently investigating this matter”.

The HSE pays the Fire Brigade around €10 million a year for provision of the ambulance service.

Most of the Fire Brigade’s fulltime firefighters are also trained paramedics and rotate between fire and ambulance duties.

Read: Fire crew attacked with rocks in Waterford >

Read: Gilmore: “The place for any young person is not permanently in front of a flatscreeen”

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