Wednesday, 30th May 2007
Paramedics based at Waterford ambulance station were awarded bronze medals and a certificate of bravery from the chairman of the Bravery Deeds Council, Dr Rory O'Hanlon, in Leinster house last week.
Those attending the ceremony were told the details of their courageous actions. On the morning of 31st August 1993 Mr Tom Maher (Paramedic) rescued a man from a septic tank in Passage east Co Waterford. Regretfully, Tom passed away in the last year. His award was collected by his wife Anne on his behalf.
Tom Maher’s colleague Mr Jim O’Sullivan (Emergency Medical Technician) also partook in the rescue. The two were partnered together as an ambulance crew on that date when they were called out to rescue the patient, who unfortunately died subsequently as a result of injuries sustained in this accident before the arrival of the other emergency services. Jim was also awarded a bronze medal and certificate for bravery.
On the night of the 20th August 2002 Mr Tony Dunne (Paramedic) assisted in the rescue of five persons in a two car collision at Whitfield North Kilmeaden Co Waterford". Paramedic John Donovan explained "I was partnered with Tony on that night when we were called to a two car road traffic accident near the gates of Major Hugh Dawney's estate where upon arrival we found two vehicles on the road with one on fire and another which was a 7 seater MPV which was on its side with persons trapped inside. This vehicle was in serious risk of catching fire as a result of the fire in the other car that was involved in the collision. I used the two fire extinguishers which we have as issue in the ambulance to try and keep the fire off Tony as he tried to extracate the persons trapped within the MPV. I used the two extingushers and was handed more by Garda Gordon Kelleher of Tramore Garda station who had just arrived on the scene. I continued to try to keep the fire off Tony and with the assistance of Garda Kelleher we went through about twelve fire extinguishers after which time I helped Tony with the extraction of the last two patients from the MPV (one of the patients from that vehicle unfortunately died at the scene of injuries sustained in the impact of the two vehicles)".
A further award was made last week to a Retained Firefighter who is based in Lismore fire station at the same award ceremony. On the 23rd August 2000, Mr David Ind assisted in the rescue of two boys who had been stranded in the sea at Whiting bay, Youghal, Co Cork.
Mr John Donovan remarked "it gives you an idea of the excellent service provided by members of the emergency ambulance service on behalf of the people of the South East".
Congratulating all concerned, Mr. Nicky Glynn (HSE Chief Ambulance Officer for the South East network) said the receipt of the awards were a tribute to the commitment of staff in the service – outstanding examples of which were the heroics of Tony Dunne, Jim O’Sullivan and the late Tom Maher. Mr. Glynn said their families can be justly proud of the ambulance personnel in question and the honours were richly deserved.
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