An incident in which a Louth County Hospital Ambulance was forced onto the side of the road after one of its wheels came off has called into question the condition of some of the vehicles.
A roadside assistance vehicle had to be sent on Friday morning to repair the vehicle, which had run into trouble sometime around 8am.
In a statement issued to the Democrat, the HSE said: “The National Ambulance Service has confirmed that an ambulance broke down this morning in Dundalk. The ambulance was returning to base and was not carrying a patient at the time. The ambulance crew were uninjured and resumed duty in another vehicle.
“It is understood that a back wheel came off the vehicle.The ambulance has been removed from the scene and a technical investigation of the vehicle will be undertaken to establish the cause of the incident.”
Cllr Sharkey, who was passing it at the time snapped the scene on his phone and uploaded it to Twitter, saying: “Rear wheel came off ambulance during the night in Dundalk.”
The Sinn Féin Councillor also raised his concerns that morning on radio,s aying that issues surrounding the amount of distance ambulances were being forced to travel had been highlighted by the incident.
Louth Fianna Fáil TD Seamus Kirk has said he is extremely alarmed by the incident.
Deputy Kirk commented: “This morning’s incident at the Xerox junction just outside Dundalk is very worrying and while the ambulance wasn’t carrying a patient at the time this was effectively a near miss.
“I am calling on Minister for Health James Reilly to ensure this incident is fully investigated and a report into this matter is published.
This is not the first time the ambulance service in the North East has come under the spotlight in recent months.
“It is essential that the public know that the ambulance service can deliver safe, effectively, timely care, particularly in the event of emergency cases,” concluded Deputy Kirk.