A PARAMEDIC who was one of the first responders at the scene of the Creeslough tragedy has won the inaugural Dara Fitzpatrick Award.
Frances Griffin said it was an “honour” to accept the award while also paying tribute to her colleagues and management in the National Ambulance Service.
A Creeslough local, Ms Griffin was among the first on the scene of the explosion at the Applegreen Service Station on October 7. Ten people died in the tragedy.
The award was launched by the Irish Paramedicine Education and Research Network (IPERN) at the University of Limerick on International Women’s Day to honour the memory of Dara Fitzpatrick – one of Ireland’s first female search and rescue pilots who lost her life in 2017 while on a mission.
“Captain Fitzpatrick was an inspirational female leader in her role with the Irish Coast Guard — she left behind a powerful legacy which has inspired me and my female colleagues in pre-hospital care,” Frances Griffin said before thanking her colleagues and management in the National Ambulance Service.IPERN chairwoman Niamh Cummins said that Ms Griffin’s nomination was “particularly powerful” out of the five finalists.
“She has just been fabulous across her career, she has done so much work in the community and supporting her colleagues and particularly Creeslough,” Dr Cummins said.
Commending the paramedic’s strength and bravery, Dr Cummins added, “She knew it was likely that someone she knew would be involved and was completely focused and professional. She was involved in removing the most seriously injured patient from the rubble.”
Ms Griffin also treated and stabilised another casualty at the scene. “Both of those patients survived and she did actually personally know everyone involved,” Dr Cummins said, adding that, following the explosion, Ms Griffin had reached out to and supported colleagues.
A paramedic with the National Ambulance Service since 2002, Ms Griffin was nominated for the award by her work partner, Roddy Smith.