The mismanagement of the ambulance service in Athlone needs urgent rectification, according to local Fine Gael Councillor, John Dolan.
Speaking this week, Cllr. Dolan expressed his immense disappointment with management of the local ambulance service as persistent rostering issues result in only one ambulance being available to the town on three nights of the week.
The Fine Gael Councillor referenced an incident on St. Stephen's Day when an ambulance had to travel from Sligo to deal with an incident in Athlone due to the unavailability of the service in Athlone.
"Luckily, this was not a major health issue on St. Stephen's night. This situation which unfortunately arose is not a reflection on the ambulance service staff. It is simply due to the mismanagement of rosters," Cllr. Dolan remarked.
Emphasising that the ongoing issue is not due to a "lack of resources" Cllr. Dolan acknowledged that a town the size of Athlone, which is continuing to develop, should have two, if not three ambulances, readily available in the case of medical emergencies.
"This should most definitely be the case. I have called on the Council executive to issue a letter to the ambulance service expressing our dissatisfaction with the current mismanagement of rosters," Cllr. Dolan commented.
Noting that the attitude of ambulance service management "needed to change", Cllr. Dolan added that he would be requesting the relevant personnel to visit the Council Chamber surrounds and explain their service intentions going forward.
"If the current service being provided does not change for the better then lives will most certainly be lost," Cllr. Dolan concluded.