Ambulance drivers praise Kilkenny county council for showing true grit

KILKENNY County Council have been praised by local ambulance drivers for their efforts during the big freeze.

KILKENNY County Council have been praised by local ambulance drivers for their efforts during the big freeze.

Pat Drennan, who represents the ambulance drivers on the Severe Weather Task force said that Kilkenny County Council were "ahead of the posse" because they had set up a task force to deal with the frozen conditions.

Mr Drennan said that Kilkenny County Council and the ambulance drivers had an excellent relationship and reserved particular praise for Senior Engineer Simon Walton in particular. Mr Drennan said that the council had gritted the roads out to the ambulance bays in Kilcreene with out having to be asked and had done everything they could to facilitate the ambulance services.

Nationally county councils have come in for criticism from the National Ambulance Service Representative Association for failing to grit the roads up to ambulance bays. The NASRA also criticised the lack of the resources made available to ambulance crews by the HSE. Derek O'Rourke National Secretary of the NASRA said "This is a totally unacceptable situation, we had Ambulances not able to get out of stations because of a failure on the part of management to foresee these issues, you would think after last years snowfall they would at least have made provision for following years and the possibility of another arctic winter. We had Garda cars with snow socks and even ESB crews with snow socks on their vehicles but not Emergency Ambulances, Paramedic crews the length and breadth of this Country struggled in dangerous conditions to reach their patients and some are lucky not to have been seriously injured or killed."