Save Swords Ambulance

firefly123

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The Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have operated a full-time station in Swords since January 2007. The HSE also have an emergency ambulance based in Lissenhall , Swords.
The DFB operate the emergency ambulance under contract to the HSE and have been running the ambulance service since 1898 . All Dublin firefighters are also paramedics and do both jobs in rotation.
When the Swords station became full-time in January 2007 the city manager decided to directly fund the provision of an extra emergency ambulance to be based in Swords. This ambulance is averaging 4800-5000 calls per year.

Total 999 ambulance calls for Dublin Fire Brigade only

2008 - 75,000 calls of which Swords DFB ambulance responded to over 4500 calls

2009 – 69,990 calls of which Swords DFB ambulance responded to over 4500 calls

4500 calls equates to one call every 2 hours or 12 every single day. Considering the huge distances we travel (Skerries,Balbriggan, Naul etc) compared to other city ambulances and the fact that we are often held up in Beaumont emergency department for hours waiting for the patient to be moved from our stretcher to a hospital trolley this represents a massive work load.

The HSE, when asked (by the DFB) if they had an ambulance available for a 999 call, were not available 11,700 times in 2008 and not available 9900 times in 2009, thus the DFB had to do the calls. Our capacity to deal with calls that the HSE cannot respond to will be diminished with a loss of the 12th ambulance as well as a loss to the people in Fingal generally.

The DFB management have been told by Dublin City Council to reduce their budget immediately and as a result Senior management informed unions , at a meeting on 21/10/10, that the Swords ambulance will be removed as it is not being funded by the HSE. The HSE also owes money to the City Council for the provision of the other 11 DFB emergency ambulances.

If this DFB ambulance is removed it will decrease the cover for the city and more importantly for the North County, leaving just 1 ambulance in the vicinity.
Because the DFB fire crew are also paramedics the fire tender will be sent to more and more medical cases as a result of no ambulance availability or delayed response. The consequence of this will be that the fire cover in the area will obviously be reduced also.

The annual cost of 1 DFB ambulance is €750,000 - €85 an hour! What is the price of one life?

We need political pressure now to maintain Swords DFB ambulance - Lobby your TDs and local councillors now
Please go to facebook and search for SAVE SWORDS AMBULANCE now to show your support.

Thank you.
 


hmmm

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How can an ambulance cost 750k a year to run? What's the makeup of those costs?
 

Travis P

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How many men will this affect. Will this also mean they will out working their taxis full time now
 
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firefly123

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How can an ambulance cost 750k a year to run? What's the makeup of those costs?
Worked out based on cost of wages of crew+ maintainence+equipment + running costs + capital outlay on vehicle

The number is actually too high to be honest but its what was put out there so we stuck with it.

Typical wage would be around 40K for a Paramedic/Firefighter. A modern ambulance would not leave you with much change of 500,000 initial outlay after being fully kitted out and made CEN compliant and then the mileage they do (approx 175,000 km a year of hard driving) means constant maintainance and fuel costs. Plus equipment gets used at incidents and as most of it is medical it has to be disposable.
 

disgruntledcitizen

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How can an ambulance cost 750k a year to run? What's the makeup of those costs?
good question, i'd expect the vast majority of it to be wages allowing for 8 staff members (working shifts of 12 hours, seven days a week) per unit on a wage in the 60 - 80K per annum, then fuel,servicing, and perhaps capital depreciation 750K would be spent very quickly.

whether you consider that money well spent is a different question
 

firefly123

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good question, i'd expect the vast majority of it to be wages allowing for 8 staff members (working shifts of 12 hours, seven days a week) per unit on a wage in the 60 - 80K per annum, then fuel,servicing, and perhaps capital depreciation 750K would be spent very quickly.

whether you consider that money well spent is a different question
60-80K ...jesus I wish! An insurance industry analysis worked out that the cost of one life to the state lost prematurely costs approx 1.2 million. Considering the amount of lives the lads in swords have saved since the station opened full time I would think it was money well spent. Maybe you should ask someone who has had need of the ambulance what it was worth to them?
 

dresden8

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How many men will this affect. Will this also mean they will out working their taxis full time now
You're off message.

The public sector would not be able to survive in the private sector, never mind in self-employment. Remember?
 
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So are all ambulances double crewed or is there scope as I have seen in the UK where a paramedic reponds first depending on the incident but in a vehicle where they can take patients to hospital in vehicle rather than on a stretcher ?
 

disgruntledcitizen

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60-80K ...jesus I wish! An insurance industry analysis worked out that the cost of one life to the state lost prematurely costs approx 1.2 million.
my swag at 60 - 80k was the cost of employment not wages, it was a rough cost to include all the ancillary costs of employment, but was only a really rough guess, if its a lot lower then i don't know where the rest of the costs are made up

i've no idea what that cost to the state of a premature death is based on, and what assumptions it makes so can't comment
 

hmmm

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Worked out based on cost of wages of crew+ maintainence+equipment + running costs + capital outlay on vehicle
And aren't the HSE saving only the equipment running cost? I presume the 8 crew are re-assigned somewhere else?
 

nonpartyboy

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Typical HSE, cut funding for emergency ambulances before they cut their regiments of desk jockey's.
 

firefly123

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So are all ambulances double crewed or is there scope as I have seen in the UK where a paramedic reponds first depending on the incident but in a vehicle where they can take patients to hospital in vehicle rather than on a stretcher ?
good question Odie

all of the ambulances are double crewed. There are Advanced paramedic response cars that could be single crewed with an AP who treats on scene. The ambulance would still have to come to transport a patient of course. Ideally these vehicles would respond to all critical cases and render asistance on scene and then travel with the patient to the ED.
Unfortunatley even though the Dublin Fire Brigade have 30 Advanced paramedics operational they are not being funded to deploy them on a full time basis. That means that its pot luck. if you are lucky and have a cardiac arrest at the right time you might get an AP on the ambulance and Fire tender that go to the arrest. If your not so lucky you wont (although the paramedics on scene are excellent they cannot give the livesaving drugs etc). If the HSE funded us correctly (or better yet we were directly funded by the Dept of Health) then we could provide this service.

As it is if you get the DFB when you go in to cardiac arrest you have the second highest survival rate in the world (seattle is no 1).
 

firefly123

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And aren't the HSE saving only the equipment running cost? I presume the 8 crew are re-assigned somewhere else?
Well at the moment we have not had a recruit class in over a year so we are down numbers. that means we are keeping things going with overtime.

Before everyone throws assorted toys out of the pram we have asked on numerous occasions to have new recruits rather than OT and it would save Dublin city council money long term but they are claiming there is no funding.
 

disgruntledcitizen

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Before everyone throws assorted toys out of the pram we have asked on numerous occasions to have new recruits rather than OT and it would save Dublin city council money long term but they are claiming there is no funding.
just to be clear, you say the cost a new recuits would be less the the cost of the combined OT required to cover the shortfalls ? that just makes no sense.....
 
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good question Odie

all of the ambulances are double crewed. There are Advanced paramedic response cars that could be single crewed with an AP who treats on scene. The ambulance would still have to come to transport a patient of course. Ideally these vehicles would respond to all critical cases and render asistance on scene and then travel with the patient to the ED.
Unfortunatley even though the Dublin Fire Brigade have 30 Advanced paramedics operational they are not being funded to deploy them on a full time basis. That means that its pot luck. if you are lucky and have a cardiac arrest at the right time you might get an AP on the ambulance and Fire tender that go to the arrest. If your not so lucky you wont (although the paramedics on scene are excellent they cannot give the livesaving drugs etc). If the HSE funded us correctly (or better yet we were directly funded by the Dept of Health) then we could provide this service.

As it is if you get the DFB when you go in to cardiac arrest you have the second highest survival rate in the world (seattle is no 1).
But what is the % they require Ambulance and what is the % that could be transported by AP car ?

Having witnessed a friend go into back spasms due to slipped disk and a further Operation and week in hospital was required. They had single crewed car there quickly who using Gas and Air were in a position to transport the person 10 miles to hospital. An Ambulance would have been nice but was not required here.

Fine in certain cases this cannot be applicable but it seems to work effectively in UK judging by feedback from friends.
 

firefly123

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just to be clear, you say the cost a new recuits would be less the the cost of the combined OT required to cover the shortfalls ? that just makes no sense.....
The city runs on a minimum manning level. In other words there is an agreed amount of emergency vehicles that have to be on the road to keep the city safe. if the number of crew fall below that number because of the number of retirements in recent years then Overtime is called in to man the vehicles.
We are at a stage where there is overtime in almost every day. Obviously these staff are on a higher grade and overtime cost is higher.

It would be cheaper to have the minimum manning level met by recruiting and training staff rather than getting in overtime. That would obviously be in the long term rather than the immediate.
 

firefly123

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But what is the % they require Ambulance and what is the % that could be transported by AP car ?

Having witnessed a friend go into back spasms due to slipped disk and a further Operation and week in hospital was required. They had single crewed car there quickly who using Gas and Air were in a position to transport the person 10 miles to hospital. An Ambulance would have been nice but was not required here.

Fine in certain cases this cannot be applicable but it seems to work effectively in UK judging by feedback from friends.
It would not be best practice to transport anyone by car. Otherwise why were they not driven in the first place.
If the person collapses then the AP would have to pull over and treat on the side of the road. If the person freaks out(and that happens a lot) then the AP is attacked and could crash his vehicle.
The reason your friend may have been transported that way was because there was no ambulance availible for hours which can happen.
 
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It would not be best practice to transport anyone by car. Otherwise why were they not driven in the first place.
If the person collapses then the AP would have to pull over and treat on the side of the road. If the person freaks out(and that happens a lot) then the AP is attacked and could crash his vehicle.
The reason your friend may have been transported that way was because there was no ambulance availible for hours which can happen.
In the area they live in that wasn't an issue because I though it was strange but Paramedic indicated that they made the judgement call and if an Ambulance was requried it would be there in <10 minutes.

As they split time between Ambulance and AP car she said it was best of both worlds as she crewed both as did everybody else. They operated under clear guidelines she said so had my mate had alcohol then it would have been an Ambulance.
 

firefly123

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In the area they live in that wasn't an issue because I though it was strange but Paramedic indicated that they made the judgement call and if an Ambulance was requried it would be there in <10 minutes.

As they split time between Ambulance and AP car she said it was best of both worlds as she crewed both as did everybody else. They operated under clear guidelines she said so had my mate had alcohol then it would have been an Ambulance.
As I stated earlier we have the trained personel and we have (some of) the cars what we lack is the funding to put everything on the road. When you do see the AP car around Dublin they are either training up new APs from all over the country (as dublin has the highest number of serious calls) or upskilling our own staff. It is not on a full time basis.
 


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