Emergency helicopters are unable to land at night in some parts of Donegal due to a lack of designated night time landing facilities, it has been claimed.
Cllr. Brendan Byrne says he has raised the issue with the coast guard service and the health and transport departments after a number of incidents in which the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) were unable to land in southwest and west Donegal due to the fact that there are no designated night time landing sites closer than Donegal Town.
He said he was shocked to discover that the relevant authorities have not sought out and designated sites in areas such as Killybegs, Kilcar-Glencolumbkille, Dunkineely- Inver areas. “If a medical emergency arises at night time no landing facilities exist in these areas,” he said. “This coupled with an ambulance service which is ever increasingly under pressure and in west Donegal the call out-time for ambulances is increasing to shocking levels due to its under funding by the HSE.”
Cllr. Byrne said it is all the more alarming that Killybegs, Ireland’s largest fishing port, is being left without such emergency night time landing facilities.
For more see today’s Donegal Democrat.