A second public meeting to address fears for the local ambulance base attracted a high turnout on Monday night in Cashel.
New roster changes are due to be implemented next Monday, March 17, which could see the base in the town lose one of its two ambulances.
Attending members of the public voiced concerns that this life saving service for communities in a 20 mile radius from Burncourt to Hollyford – an area of some 1,256 square miles - could be lost.
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 informed the meeting 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 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’.
Assistant Secretary Niall Gregory 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’. All elected members committed to work together to strive to retain this essential service for the people of Tipperary.