National Services Day: Stories From our Readers

It’s National Services Day today and we wanted to celebrate the amazing people who keep the people of our country safe every day.

There are a number of events happening across the city today to celebrate.

Adults and children can take in Skill Displays at Dublin Castle (everything from abseiling to bomb disposal) between 11 am and 3.30 pm and the main parade will take place at twelve noon.

The parade will travel from Parnell Square to Dublin Castle showcasing thousands of National Services personnel alongside their vehicles and equipment. In the words of Leo Varadkar, the emergency services “are part of the fabric of every community” and they deserve public recognition for the incredible work they do. 

We’ll leave you with some inspiring stories sent in from some of our readers about those times in their lives when our National Services made all the difference to someone they love. 

Laura, mum of 4, Dublin.

“I was woken one Sunday morning by my twenty-month-old screaming. A scream that a mother just instinctively knows... something is wrong. I jumped out of bed and my husband told me she had eaten part of a dishwasher tablet.

She had ingested some and more had sprayed into her eyes. Just then panic set in. We immediately poured water over her eyes, but she was still screaming.

Dublin Fire Brigade
Image source: Twitter / Dublin Fire Brigade.

Without a second thought, I rang 999. I was crying, my heart was pounding in my chest and I could barely think. But in that array of hysteria I was met with was a calm, reassuring voice.

They asked me the relevant questions and told me an ambulance was on its way. I was now panicking even more because as most parents can feel, am I being dramatic? Have I called an ambulance to a situation that is not an emergency? But as soon as the paramedics arrived, I was put at ease.

They were so lovely, calm and kind. Their reassuring presence was just what we both needed. It’s a very scary situation when you feel helpless as a parent when your child is in pain or injured.

I am so thankful that the paramedics took over and looked after my baby girl just as if it was their own daughter. Thankfully, she was okay and had no long term damage. She is also been fired from her dishwasher tablet insertion job for the foreseeable future!

Karen, mum from Dublin.

“My baby was born at home on New Years Day this year. Dublin Fire Brigade was first on the scene after she arrived. It was a great morning and they were really great craic about it all. It was lovely to see them arrive and of course, we made time for a selfie”.

Kristine, mum of two, Dublin.

“I am a twenty-eight-year-old mother of two. Logan is three and Noah has just gone one.

In May, I suddenly developed Type 1 Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. Cataplexy causes my body to go into total paralysis and I just drop to the ground. While I am fully aware of what is happening, I cannot control it.

This led to a devastating fall in May. I fell down the stairs holding Noah and my leg got trapped in the bannisters. Thankfully I managed to hold on to Noah for the twenty-five minutes it took for emergency services to arrive.

Logan was an absolute hero. He kissed me, told me Daddy would fix it and got my phone so I could ring an ambulance. He brought his baby brother toys to distract him and he even got a sweeping brush to unlatch the door when the paramedics arrived.

Little boy and fire fighter in a fire truck.
"Honestly, I cannot credit the emergency services enough. I was so afraid, and they talked me through everything."

As soon as I handed Noah over to the paramedics, I knew he was safe, and I passed out in agony. It took them forty minutes to free me from the stairs and I ended up staying in Tallaght Hospital for ten days.

My ankle was smashed in three places, my knee was dislocated and the ligaments in my food were torn to shreds. My shinbone had snapped in two and broke through the skin. After a six-hour surgery to repair the damage I was on bed rest for four months and it will be a year before I can walk again.

Honestly, I cannot credit the emergency services enough. I was so afraid, and they talked me through everything. They held my hand until my family got there”.

Laura, mum of two, Dublin. 

“Working in the health service, it’s so hard to watch how stretched our services are on a daily basis. But what inspires me most is how the staff don’t let that affect them.

My nana was very sick recently and we had to ring the ambulance service. From the operator through to the paramedics the care she received was second to none.

She is ninety years of age and an independent woman and so to see her unwell is always hard. But the paramedics treated her with the utmost dignity and respect.

They assessed her and eventually manoeuvred her out of the bed into the ambulance. She is always cold, and they went to such effort to make sure she remained warm and comfortable throughout. I can’t thank them enough”.

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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