A public meeting was held by Tipperary Ambulance Action Group on Tuesday evening in St John the Baptist Girls
Primary School, Cashel.
The meeting raised awareness of the recently proposed cut backs from the HSE and National Ambulance Services to significantly reduce the vital services of the much needed second ambulance based at the Cashel Station. Attending members of the public voiced concerns and alarm on this life saving service for communities in a twenty mile radius from Burncourt to Hollyford – an area of some 1,256 square miles. It also addressed Cashel Ambulance Service as an example for the remainder of South and North Tipperary.The meeting was chaired by Cllr Martin Browne and those who attended included committee members, elected representatives from throughout the county and members of the public. There was a high turnout which reflected the worry and fears from the community on the loss of this crucial service.
Cllr Browne opened the meeting giving a detailed account of the situation and informed the crowd that he is still awaiting a response from the National Ambulance Service (NAS) with whom he had appealed not to implement the new roster changes due 17th Mar 2014, until the HSE and NAS had carried out their review. He spoke about the loss of Cashel Hospital in 1996 and said “the ambulance service is needed now more than ever”. Asst. Sec. Niall Gregory made a very detailed and comprehensive presentation on ambulance coverage in the entire county of Tipperary and pointed out that gaining precise data and statistics has proven difficult so much so that he carried out his own personal research on ambulance response times which proved beyond doubt the need for the second ambulance. He said: “this withdrawal of services is putting the lives and wellbeing of people at risk”. Many people voiced their concerns and all elected members committed to work together and use their knowledge and resources to strive to retain this fundamental and essential service for the people of Tipperary.