The National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) said today (Friday, 15 th Sept.) that the latest statistics from the National Ambulance Service on the incidents of breakdown of ambulances in 2016 shows a continuing dangerous level of ambulance breakdown and highlights the need for more urgent investment in replacing aging and high mileage vehicles.
NASRA National Secretary, Tony Gregg said the latest figures released under Freedom of Information (FOI) that more than 200 ambulances required breakdown assistance last year, and that one in 20 of the NAS fleet has more than 300,000 klms. on the clock points to a potentially dangerous situation for both patients and ambulance crews.
‘Unfortunately, we have seen a number of near tragic incidents around the country resulting from mechanical faults in the ambulance fleet in recent years. These were in part responsible for the programme of replacement that began in 2015, but it is now time for the complete decommissioning of aging and ‘clapped' out ambulances which should have no place in a modern National Ambulance Service that has a greater and more importance role in the delivery of health services than ever before.'
The National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) today (Weds. 26 th April) expressed support for calls from Gardai and Prison Officers for the introduction of mandatory sentences for those convicted of assault on their members and other frontline emergency workers.
NASRA National Chairman, Michael Dixon said NASRA was joining in the call on the Government to introduce legislation that would finally send a clear and unambiguous message that it is unacceptable that paramedics and ambulance staff, firefighters , Gardai and prison officers can be assaulted in the course of carrying out their vital emergency and public safety roles.
‘All of the indications and experience of emergency staff on the ground is that the current deterrents against assault on front line workers are no longer working. It is no longer sufficient for ambulances to simple carry signs warning of the consequences of assault on ambulance crews. We need far more support from the Government and mandatory sentencing that says that any assault on frontline staff in the course of their duty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated .'
Restoration of pay and conditions demanded at annual delegate meeting
The National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) said today (Friday 21 st April) that a reduction in the retirement age from the current 67/68 years of age (for post 2010 recruits) to 62 and the restoration of all salary cuts and deductions for current staff and new entrants are among the key demands for paramedics to the Public Sector Pay Commission.
Speaking at NASRA‘s annual delegate meeting in Carlow, NASRA National Chairman, Michael Dixon described the current retirement age for paramedics as ‘punishing'.
29th March 2017
Submission: Re: Public Sector Pay Commission.
It is our understanding that the Public Sector pay Commission will not make any pay awards in the same way as the Benchmarking process did in the past. Instead you will identify those relevant factors which will be considered by the parties in negotiating the next Public Sector Pay Agreement.
The history of pre-hospital care in Ireland is relatively short but somewhat remarkable. It started in the 1890's when it was recognized that people injured or afflicted by acute medical conditions were dying or their conditions worsened by the transportation of patients is somewhat unsuitable vehicles but mostly by improper treatment by untrained good Samaritans. In 1898 the first full time Ambulance came into operation.
This was hailed as a fantastic development and councils and other institutions with responsibility for public health all across the country raced to develop their own service. These services handled accident services primarily whereas infectious or medical cases were handled by a Hospital ambulance normally staffed by a Driver and a Nurse.
In the 1960's the Health Board Act was introduced and one of its main points was that the Health Boards had the responsibility for the transportation of the patient from the home to the hospital.
Most Health Boards assumed control of rural and urban services which did away with the Driver and attendant role which lead to the Driver and ward Nurse been dispatched on an ambulance when required.
Further in the 1960's was the establishment of the national ambulance training school.
Another big step came in the early 1990's where the Eastern Health Board ambulance attendants could manually defibrillate and automated defibrillators became more mainstream.
The National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) said today (Friday, 24th March) that it was deeply disappointed and concerned with the findings of today’s HIQA review of progress in implementing recommendations on pre-hospital emergency care services.
NASRA said it was clear that three years on from the original HIQA Review of National Ambulance Service (NAS) the safety and care of patients relying on the ambulance services are still being compromised by issues such as lack of capacity, under-staffing and over reliance on overtime.
NASRA National Chairman, Michael Dixon said that while there had been progress on recruitment into the NAS, management must accept the reality that it is extremely difficult to attract recruits to the NAS when pay and conditions have been progressively eroded in recent years due to austerity and public service pay agreement cuts.
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Note: all staff assigned to HSE National Ambulance Service who are party to the provisions under the terms of the Public Service agreement are entitled to compensation for actual losses. This is to include non-rostered staff, ICO’s, clerical admin, any trades people assigned to service and managers.
I refer to recent correspondence to you regarding your entitlement to compensation under the terms of the Public Service agreement 2010 - 2014. In this regard the calculation should reflect the terms of the PSA agreement in that all losses are to be compensated for at 1.5 times the actual loss.
It is our view that following the terms of the PSA agreement and the subsequent Labour Court Recommendations regarding the agreement and the precedent of the settlement of the compensation payment agreed between the HSE and our members in Dundrum Central Mental Hospital that the following agreed principles should apply in your case.
The reverse effect of the change to the following
1: Overtime rate for Sundays
2: Overtime rate for Public holidays
3: Overtime rate for time x 2
4: Overtime rate for time x 1.5
5: Overtime rate from 1.5 to 1.25
6: First hour of overtime in week given free x 52
7: Overtime by 2 rostered lost due to change
8: Pay cut of 7.5% x 1.5 times the loss
9: All losses noted in LCR 20313 not noted above x 1.5 times the actual loss.
NASRA , the National Ambulance Service Representative Association said today (Wednesday, 18 th May ) that the findings of a HSE review of the National Ambulance Service must be acted on urgently in order to avoid further tragedy as a result of lack of investment and the inability of ambulances to respond adequately to emergency incidents.
Commenting on the publication the National Ambulance Service of Ireland's Emergency Service Baseline and Capacity Review, NASRA National Chairman, Michael Dixon said ; ‘We have seen a number of adverse incidents in recent years that have resulted from lack of investment in the National Ambulance Service and the HSE insistence on defending response times that have now been shown to be completely unrealistic'.