Do Not Undermine the Work of Our Coast Guard. Cllr Kennedy

Do Not Undermine the Work of Our Coast Guard.     Cllr Kennedy
As unexpected news arrives yesterday, a letter from HQ places an automatic stop to the Irish Coast Guard, informing them that they are no longer allowed to use sirens or blue flashing lights as this may cause a safety risk to volunteers, road users and the general public…..
Cllr Niamh Kennedy says she cannot understand why this directive should come down the line without proper consultation to the Coast Guard, why would this just come like a bolt from the blue she asked.
“Instead of the Department discussing this with the crews, explaining the rationale behind this and offering proper training to the crews who risk their own lives to help others”.
Cllr Kennedy states “Millions of euros are spent annually on vehicles, search and recovery training and equipment, safety apparatus, defibs, uniforms, premises etc and they don’t provide the necessary training to drive in event of an emergency?”
“Here we are living rurally, with a centralised ambulance service, a part time fire station in Glencolmcille, a fire station in Killybegs, all backing each other, there are times when the coast guard are at the scene before an ambulance can attend remote areas.  This has happened in the past locally.  The coast guard had been called to the scene of a heart attack patient because the ambulance could not get to the scene on time, the coast guard were contacted because they had the necessary Defib and the trained personnel, until the ambulance arrived”.
“On our narrow rural roads with many more tourists along the Wild Atlantic Way, if someone has an accident on the cliffs at Sliabh Liag or at the beach in Malin Beag, emergency services must have a clear road access to the injured party”.
“This is nonsense and must be addressed urgently, its only when an injured party needs help, they realise how vital it is for immediate assistance and reassurance.  For someone in distress to see the flashing lights they are assured that help is close by”.
“I am calling on the Department to please provide the necessary training for the drivers to complete the Emergency Services Drivers Standard Level 3.  (ESDS Level 3)”.
“No responsible person should abuse their position by operating the blue lights and siren system unnecessarily.  That of course would be included in and as part of their training.  These flashing lights are only used in circumstances where it is believed to be risk to life.”

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