Report of rats roaming ambulance station sparks investigation

Ambulance cover in Armagh will not be adversely affected while pest controllers deal with a rat problem at the city’s ambulance station, the NIAS has said.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 12:47 pm
Updated Sunday, 17th October 2021, 12:52 pm
An image reported to been captured recently inside the Armagh ambulance station at Tower HIl in the city

An investigation began just over a week ago when environmental health officers at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council received a complaint about the presence of the rodents at the Tower Hill facility.

A source who alerted the News Letter to the issue described the situation as an “infestation,” and claimed ambulance cover has been disrupted.

However, a spokesman for the NIAS denied this was the case.

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Ambulance service

In a statement, the spokesman said: “The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is aware of an issue with vermin in Armagh Ambulance Station, which is being addressed within an existing contract with a pest controller who does not regard it as an ‘infestation.’

“The Health and Well-being of our staff is of primary concern to us and therefore we have restricted the use of the station to crews commencing and finishing their shifts at the location.

“Throughout the day, crews will respond to calls allocated from Emergency Ambulance Control as normal. The recent and current levels of activity do not lend themselves to crews returning to the station except for well-deserved rest periods.”

The NIAS spokesman added: “While this issue is ongoing, crews will be directed to other healthcare facilities within the Armagh area to ensure they receive their breaks and that cover is maintained at an optimum level.

“We greatly value the co-operation and understanding of our operational crews while this issue is ongoing and we will seek to bring it to as swift a conclusion as possible.”

A spokeswoman for ABC Council said: “Council received a complaint regarding below last Friday (October 8) and upon investigation it was referred to the Health and Safety Executive (NIHSE) whose job it is to investigate.”

The source who contacted the News Letter described the problem as an “infestation,” and claimed ambulance crews were unable to work as normal.

The NIHSE has been approached for comment.

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