41% of DFB ambulances have more than 400,000 kms on clock

The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA) said today (Thursday) that one third of the city ' s emergency ambulances operated by Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) were not available for service last night (Wednesday) because of mechanical faults.

Dublin Fire Brigade operates 12 emergency front line emergency ambulances.In addition to this DFB has five spare / reserve ambulances bringing the total fleet to 17. However all of these spare /reserve were already in service as replacements for ambulances that were out of service with mechanical problems.

Wednesday night and into Thursday saw a total of 6 vehicles not operational, leaving DFB short one ambulance for its operational frontline fleet (11 in service) with no reserve cover. At the same time on Wednesday night others ambulances were caught at the Mater Hospital after it went ‘ off call ' due to A and E overcrowding.

IFESA National Chairman, John Kidd said :

‘ The chaotic situation faced by DFB ambulance crews on Wednesday & Thursday confirms the concerns highlighted earlier this week by Deputy Denis Naughton on the poor condition of the national ambulance fleet with almost one-fifth of the HSE ambulances having over 400,000km on the clock. The figures also showed that another 71 HSE emergency ambulances had clocked up more than 300,000km. '

‘ In Dublin 82 % (14) of Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulances are over 300,000km and of this 41% (7) over 400,000k ' .

‘ The DFB fleet is regularly ‘ cannibalised ' for spare parts to keep ambulances on the road. It is not the way to provide vital emergency services to a population of 1.2 m citizens and the dangers to both crews and patients are obvious ' . ‘ Because of the age and high mileage on much of the ambulance fleet the service is operating on a knife edge all of the time. There needs to be a substantial investment in the DFB fleet to guarantee the services for the community ' .

Media contacts : John Kidd 087 6588999087 6588999 / Derek Cunningham 086 2430535086 2430535

News - Press and Media