Current pressures on NI ambulance crews worse than during Troubles, warns long-serving paramedic

A paramedic who has worked with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for 50 years has warned that current pressures on crews are worse than during the Troubles.

UTV spent an afternoon with the Ambulance Service to see some of the pressures first hand.

At one point seven crews were lined up outside the Royal Victoria Hospital.

A number of patients were being treated in the entrance of the overcrowded Emergency Department.

They were the lucky ones.

Many patients have been forced to wait several hours onboard ambulances. In recent days one patient was waiting for 28 hours for a hospital bed.

Ambulance crews tied up at hospitals are unable to respond to incoming emergency calls.

74 year-old paramedic Brian Maguire told UTV: "It's tough. I came through the Troubles, the 70s, the 80s, the noughties.

"In a strange sense this is worse, because one could always see an end to the Troubles, one can never see an end to what's happening in Emergency Departments."

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