Hour-long wait for Roscommon ambulance slammed

Accident victim died some weeks later

A local man, who has subsequently died, was forced to wait over an hour for an ambulance to arrive after he was involved in a single-vehicle car crash at Stonepark, Galway Road, Roscommon town.

  On September 21, the man, aged in his 60s, crashed after coming around a sharp corner.

  “He came clear off the road, landing into my next-door neighbour’s garden, broke some of the caving and just stopped near the tree,” a witness said.

  “The car itself was wrecked after breaking through a pillar.”

  The witness, and others, contacted the gardaí and the ambulance service. Gardaí arrived promptly, but a long delay for an ambulance ensued.

  The witness added: “The gardaí kept saying: ‘Where is the ambulance?’ We were keeping the patient alive by talking to him, just making sure he would not go into a coma, putting a rug around him.

  “It took an hour and six minutes for an ambulance to arrive, which really annoyed me. I couldn’t believe it – that we are so near a hospital and it could take so long. If he had a heart attack, he could have died on the spot.”

  Eventually, the patient was brought to Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, where he died on Thursday, October 22. He lived at nearby Cruby Hill, just off the Galway Road, Roscommon town.

  The chairperson of the Hospital Action Committee, John McDermott, has strongly criticised the long delay in an ambulance arriving.

  “It is endangering lives,” he said.

  “All medical research says that patients have the best outcome when they get immediate emergency services at the scene.

  “There are targets set for that, and this is not compliant.”