Fire at Wexford General Hospital  

3 March 2023

On Wednesday afternoon, 1st March a major emergency was declared after a fire broke out in the machinery room of Wexford General Hospital.

Over 200 patients had to be evacuated but no injuries were reported among either patients or staff.

The patients, among them those seriously ill and in intensive care, were ferried by ambulances to hospitals in Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork and Dublin, in what has been described as the biggest evacuation in the history of the health service.

Civil Defence units from Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny were immediately deployed to assist with the evacuation, utilising  Ambulances,  Minibuses,  Jeeps and the Wexford Welfare Unit. Communications Network assistance was also provided by Paul Brophy, Civil Defence Branch.

Additional Ambulances and Minibuses were provided by Civil Defence Units from Offaly, Tipperary, Wicklow, Dublin, Kildare, Cork North & East and Limerick early on Thursday morning, assisting with the evacuation of the remainder of the patients.

In total Civil Defence deployed 53 volunteers, 12 Ambulances, 15 Minibuses  and 6 Jeeps. During the tasking Civil Defence transported 22 patients with support staff to hospitals in Kilkenny, Waterford, Dublin, Enniscorthy and Gorey.

Civil Defence were stood down after 11am after a hugely successfully coordinated operation, led by Wexford Civil Defence Officer Peter O’Connor and Assistant Civil Defence Officer Sinéad Furlong.