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Lack of ambulance leads to copper call

TENBY’S inshore lifeboat was launched shortly after 5pm on Tuesday (Aug 9) after a request from the RNLI beach lifeguards for assistance in dealing with a casualty suffering from severe chest pains.

The volunteer crew were soon on scene at Tenby’s South beach and joined the lifeguards, members of Tenby Coastguard Rescue Team and an off-duty GP and a nurse that had offered their help in treating the casualty.

With the Welsh Ambulance Service extremely busy with no Ambulances available and the casualty needing to get to hospital quickly, Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 from St Athan was tasked and was soon overhead.

Members of the lifeboat crew, lifeguards and coastguards then assisted the Paramedic in immobilising the casualty and carrying him to the awaiting aircraft before he was flown to hospital for treatment.

The lifeboat then returned to station, arriving at 6pm.

The incident, which was shared on the Save Withybush Campaign Facebook page has led to many to ask questions about the safety of locating healthcare in the area to a new hospital site. Whilst everyone praised the RNLI and all those who helped the casualty, there were concerns about a lack of an ambulance.

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Patricia Ann Croll said on social media: “I have a question for Hywel Dda. How do you propose dealing with all the Mental Health issues that are arising over the down-grading and future closing of Withybush General Hospital? The unnecessary stress that this is already causing, is not good for your proposed agenda of a healthy Pembrokeshire and more importantly for the wellbeing of the Pembrokeshire people.

Hugh Watchman added: “Well done the RNLI and all the people that helped this person. No Ambulance available for this emergency so the casualty was taken by helicopter. What does the Health Board and Welsh Government need to do to get this sorted?

Marc Tierny commented: “In fairness, a helicopter is probably exactly what you want in that emergency, to which Hugh Watchman replied: “only if it was available at the time. What would be the situation if no ambulances or helicopters were available? The Welsh Government and the Health Board need to up their game and sort this out.”