This is a story that went National and International and shows how the emergency services can work together. During Storm Emma, Logan Shephard’s mam Louise from Cleariestown, made a priority call to the HSE for medical emergency care for her son and that he would need to be brought to Hospital.
Ambulance Paramedic Declan Cunningham had finished his shift and was off duty when he received a call from Defence Force Corporal, Steve Holloway asking if he could come to help. When they left for Cleariestown they did not realise how difficult the task would be. But once they had made the commitment to go, there was no turning back. The road became totally impassable and they made a decision there and then to help Logan and they would make the rest of the journey through snow drifts by foot. Logan’s mam Louise, with no power or heat, had already left her house to meet Declan and Steve. They were very relieved when they saw Logan and his mam. They trudged through the snow drifts, taking it in turn to carry Logan. He had just come back from Crumlin Hospital and had complex needs. They had to be extra careful carrying him as he had been through various operations over the previous months and they were also worried about infection. The best place for him was the hospital as his immune system was very low. The two services worked together and almost four hours later, they arrived exhausted and relieved at the hospital, the safe destination for Logan.
Steve has worked in Central Africa, Chaad and twice to the middle East and said he had a similar feeling, that he just had to keep going.
The Minister of Defence congratulated them on their endeavours that night and said everyone was very proud of them. Steve said there was such a sense of community during storm Emma. Declan said everyone helped each other from coast guards to local farmers.
Steve and Declan pushed the boundaries out and went beyond what anyone would expect from any human being, showing such bravery and determination. Because of this they were rewarded by jointly becoming the South East Radio/Talbot Hotel Outstanding Achievement Award winners for March. There were so many family, friends and work colleagues that arrived in the South East Radio studio to surprise Steve and Declan.
Martin Dunne, Director of the National Ambulance Services said congratulations on a job well done. Stephen and Declan went that extra mile, particularly in treacherous weather to have made a decision to walk in extremely bad conditions for four miles….. to put the patient first is extraordinary. They have created a template for the future where two agencies can work together in an inter-agency response to a medical emergency.