POLITICS: Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue says he is dismayed by reports that insurance companies are hiking motor insurance premiums for volunteers who provide life-saving first aid in their communities.
Deputy McConalogue made the comments after Aviva introduced a 20% loading fee on motor insurance policies for volunteers operating under the Community First Responder Scheme.
“The news that Aviva has decided to hike the insurance policies for volunteer first responders is deplorable. In Ireland, up to 5,000 people die annually from cardiac arrest. Consistent efforts have been made to reduce the number of deaths caused by cardiac arrest, and the presence of volunteers operating under this scheme is crucial to achieving this goal,” said Deputy McConalogue.
“The scheme is particularly important in counties like Donegal, with a large geographical area, and where first responders can get to the scene of an incident much quicker than an ambulance can. In many situations community first responders are the first people to come to the aid of a person who is suffering chest pain, breathing difficulty, choking, stroke and cardiac arrest. They save lives right across the country on a daily basis.
“The move by Aviva to hike motor insurance premiums for first responders will undo all of the good work that has been achieved to date in reducing the number of deaths caused by cardiac arrest. I’ve been contacted by a number of volunteers who have said they are reconsidering their voluntary work following the sharp increase in motor insurance costs. They want to continue providing a valuable voluntary service, but Aviva is making it impossible for them to do so.
“This hike in insurance costs will only lead to a reduction in the number of volunteers in towns and villages across Donegal, and could ultimately cost lives. Aviva should reconsider this move, and I’ll be pushing for Fianna Fáil to bring forward proposals to prevent unfair loading on motor premiums for first responder volunteers.”Tags: