Ambulance cover secured for South Armagh

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Monday, February 25th, 2013
The decade long campaign undertaken by Sinn Féin to secure appropriate ambulance cover for the South Armagh area came to fruition over the past week with the installation of a Rapid Response Vehicle at Crossmaglen Fire Station.

Local Sinn Fein Councillor Terry Hearty with the Rapid Response Vehicle and personnel at Crossmaglen Fire Station

Sinn Féin councillor Terry Hearty was on hand to welcome the vehicle and its driver to Crossmaglen and to wish him well for the future saving lives in South Armagh. Speaking to Newry Times, Councillor Hearty said, “I am truly delighted to bring a good news story to the people for a change. This campaign has been many years in the making and it is great that finally South Armagh will have the same level of emergency cover as other parts of the north. “For years Sinn Féin has demanded of various health ministers that lives are not put at risk in South Armagh. We challenged in the Assembly, through our MP Conor Murphy, and more recently Megan Fearon our MLA has put the question of equality directly to Edwin Poots. Hearty added, “At a local level we organised public meetings, rallies and petitions all giving the same message – South Armagh lives are as important as those anywhere else. “Thankfully now at last fairness and equality have prevailed and people from Dromintee or Cullyhanna will be able to dial 999 with confidence that they no longer need to risk driving a seriously injured or sick person to hospital themselves, the rapid response vehicle will be there.” MLA Megan Fearon went on to explain the benefits of the news. “The Rapid Response driver is a highly skilled paramedic who has been trained to work in tandem with the Fire and Rescue Service. “This person can enter burning buildings and is authorised to wear breathing apparatus as well as carry out a wide range of medical interventions. This is very good news for South Armagh and I urge people to avail of the service whenever appropriate. She added, “I am glad that the historical inequality in healthcare provision in this area will no longer endanger lives needlessly.” The Rapid Response Vehicle will be in Crossmaglen at peak times when incidents are most likely to occur. It will also be present during any major events such as football matches or festivals which bring a huge influx of people to Crossmaglen.
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