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FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2013

EDITION NO. 34,914

Serving Cork for 120 years

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Response defended By RONAN BAGNALL

THE decision to stand down an ambulance travelling to help a toddler who suffered fatal injuries in a fall was the “appropriate response” based on available information.

Volunteer ethos eased pain By COLETTE SHERIDAN A CORK woman has told of how the ethos of volunteering helped her to cope during a terrible family tragedy. Liz Downes, DERYH, lost her daughter-in-law and her daughter-in-law’s mother and sister in a car crash in 2004, but the support she received from her friends in the Irish Girl Guides and from her community provided great comfort. “Only for my friends in the Girl Guides, I would have given up,” says Liz, from Mitchelstown. ● Full story page 28.


That’s the view of Robert Morton, director of National Ambulance Service, who revealed that an ambulance was initially deployed to help the injured child, but was stood down two minutes later. The toddler, Vakaris Martinaitis, died on Wednesday last week in CUH, two days after his fall from the upstairs window at his home. Speaking today, neighbour Kevin Hennessy, who made the 999 call and then transported the child to hospital, said: “I didn’t know at the time that the child had fallen from the window. “But what do you have to do or say to prove a child is hurt? I told them it was serious.” The ambulance, which had been 18 minutes away from the scene in the city, drove passed the child’s hometown of Midleton, after it was stood down, on its way back to base in Youghal. At a HSE health forum meeting in Cork yesterday, it was revealed that: ● The ambulance may have driven passed the car carrying the injured boy to hospital. ● The review focusing on the three-minute 999 call will take two months to complete.

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● Two-month timeframe to review a three-minute 999 call: Page three ● Ambulance chief has not ruled out releasing call recordings: Page two ● Ambulance sent but recalled: Page two ● The ambulance was dispatched two minutes into the 999 call, but was cancelled a minute after the call ended. Mr Morton said the decision to stand down the ambulance was taken based on the information provided by the 999

caller. He said: “I have listened to the call five times. “If somebody rings up and says a child had a fall, that triggers a particular set of questions. All I can say is that I am satisfied that all of the questions that needed to be

asked, were asked. And I am satisfied that, based on the information we were provided with, that they, (the dispatchers), probably sent the appropriate response. But the review will confirm exactly what happened.”

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L: 5°C A couple of showers early


Vakaris Martinaitis: Suffered fatal injuries in a fall.

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