Don’t panic — Ambulance service to hold major emergency exercise

The HSE West ambulance service will hold a major emergency exercise in Ballinasloe tomorrow (Thursday ) at 6pm.

The exercise is required training for the paramedic class as part of their Major Incident Medical Management and Support course.

They will be assisted by off-duty paramedics, advanced paramedics and ambulance officers. The Galway County Council Fire Service and An Garda Síochána will also be involved.

Up to 100 volunteers from the Civil Defence, the Order of Malta and the Red Cross will take part and will take on roles of participants in the simulated incident. The event is also an opportunity for their trained responders to act as transporting ambulances which would happen in a real-life major emergency.

Vincent O’Connor, the training and development officer with the HSE West ambulance service, says a mass casualty simulation is a critical part of paramedic training.

“We are grateful for the co-operation of our partner agencies - An Garda Síochána and the Galway County Council Fire Service - along with all the volunteers whose involvement will make the exercise as realistic as possible.

“We would like to reassure any passers-by in the area in Ballinasloe on Thursday that this is just an exercise.”

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