Toughest Place To Be...
Last year, Mark Crosbie, a street cleaner with Dublin City Council, swapped the cobbled stone streets of Temple Bar to work in Manila one of the most polluted and densely populated cities in the world.
This year an Irish A&E nurse and a driver with Dublin Bus have agreed to experience life at the extreme end of their profession as they immerse themselves into a new family and community, while doing their job in some of the most unforgiving and difficult conditions on the planet.
In Episode One of Toughest Place To Be. Berna Breen an experienced Irish A&E nurse travels to one of the most violent places on earth, Tegucigalpa, in Honduras. Working in the Accident & Emergency department of the main public hospital, Berna will come face to face with the traumatic effects of a gang war that marks this city out as one of the most dangerous and volatile places on earth.
It's well known Irish Emergency Departments can be challenging places to work, no one day is the same and nursing staff go above and beyond in their care of patients. Berna is very much one of these nurses - She works as an advanced nurse practitioner at Waterford University Hospital's A&E department. With over twenty years nursing experience, Berna has worked in emergency medicine for the last 15 years. She juggles a busy work schedule with caring for her 13-year-old daughter Katie.
For one week, Berna travels to the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, to work as an A&E nurse at the Escuela Hospital. The hospital's emergency department is the busiest in the country and is on the frontline of healthcare for some of the country's poorest citizens. It is here Berna also comes face to face with the victims of this bloody gang war.
Since 2010, a person is murdered every hour, of every day in Honduras. For those injured the country's public hospitals is the only hope. Honduras is one of the least stable countries in Latin America. Situated on the main cocaine traffic route between South and North America, the country has been ravaged by the influx of drug money. Fight for the control of that trade has brought the murder rate to unprecedented levels. The homicide rate is now the world's fourth highest making it the most dangerous capital city in the world and one of toughest places to be a nurse.
In Episode Two of Toughest Place To Be. Proud Dubliner Christy Carey is going on the ultimate busman's holiday. Christy, a larger then life bus driver with Dublin Bus, is swapping his number 27 route and the Walkinstown roundabout for the chaos and colour of Kathmandu.
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal sits in the shadow of Everest and the Himalayas, has a notorious reputation for treacherous roads and perilous driving conditions. Added to this, they endured a devastating earthquake and its aftershocks in 2015, which left thousands dead and many more homeless. The country still hasn't recovered. Today, more than a million people live below the poverty line in Kathmandu.
Despite this, father of three Christy has accepted the challenge. He will learn to drive a bus in Kathmandu, one of the world's most polluted and congested cities. He has just one week to get to grips with driving in a country where the rules of the road are flexible, the roads are terrible and the buses are literally held together with prayers. Can he get the bus and himself back in one piece? And on his return to Ireland, what will Christy have learned and will the experience leave a lasting impression on the big hearted bus driver?
Toughest Place To Be is produced by Motive Television (I Am Immigrant, Toughest Trade, The Notorious and This Is Jobstown) for RTÉ One.