On duty ambulances have been involved in an average of one accident every two days over the past two and a half years. The Tribune saw data on the number of emergency vehicles involved in incidents as set out by the Health Service Executive (HSE). The data was provided by the HSE after a recent Parliamentary Question by Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly in the Dáil.
There has been a total of 892 incidents involving the National Ambulance Service (NAS) since 2010. Figures for crashes between 2010 to 2014 varied between 79 to 104 per year. Accident rates shot up to 156 and 167 per year in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The HSE noted the data does not ‘differentiate or categorise the type or severity of damage that occurred.’
2017 is set to be another year with a high number of accidents. NAS vehicles have already been involved in 104 accidents between the 1st of January 2017 to the 1st of August. This equates to 104 incidents over a 212-day period, and averages at just over one accident every second day. If the trend were to continue over the last five months of this year, then 2017 could have the highest number of accidents on record.
The National Incident Management System only began to record the type of vehicles involved (emergency ambulance, intermediate care vehicle and rapid response vehicles) in 2014. Data provided by the State Claims Agency provided a breakdown on vehicle types involved in 398 accidents since 2014. 392 of these accidents involved ambulances. Rapid response vehicles were involved in 5 accidents, while an intermediate care vehicle was involved in a single accident.
Cian Carton – Editor