I assure the House that the national ambulance service will continue to modernise and reconfigure its services to ensure emergency pre-hospital care is delivered in an appropriate and timely manner. In that regard, additional funding of €3.6 million and 43 staff have been provided under the national service plan for 2014. Including Dublin Fire Brigade emergency ambulances, our total fleet now numbers 534 vehicles. This represents an increase of 77 on the number of vehicles we had four years ago. I understand a number of emergency ambulances will be upgraded this year.
A significant reform programme is under way to provide a clinically driven and nationally co-ordinated system that will be supported by improved technology. Ongoing performance improvement projects include the single national control system, which is to be completed next year; the intermediate care service, which transports patients between facilities and allows emergency vehicles to focus on emergency situations; the move to on-duty rostering and the development of a national rostering system; and the emergency aeromedical support service, which flew 368 missions in 2013. One third of the latter involved time-critical transfers of ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, STEMI, heart attack patients to primary percutaneous coronary intervention, PCI, units.
I also draw the Deputy's attention to the three separate reviews of ambulance services that are under way. The Health Information and Quality Authority is examining the governance arrangements for pre-hospital emergency services, the HSE and Dublin City Council have commissioned a joint review of Dublin ambulance services to determine the optimal and most cost-effective model of ambulance services delivery for the city, and the national ambulance service is undertaking a comprehensive capacity review to determine the level of resourcing - in terms of staff, vehicles, skills and distribution - that will be required to deliver a safe and effective service now and into the future. These reviews will inform the development of a modern, clinically driven system, properly resourced, for appropriate and timely services to the benefit of patients.