Ambulance personnel belonging to the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) are to go on strike on in a dispute over union representation.

The action will run from 7am-5pm.

Two further consecutive days of strike action are planned for 28 February and 1 March.

Friday's national strike will involve more than 500 ambulance personnel including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians.

They say it is a further escalation of industrial action in demand of their right to be represented by the union of their choice.

Traditionally, around 1,800 paramedics were mainly represented by SIPTU, but in recent years up to 500 have broken away to join the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA), which is affiliated to the PNA.

PNA General Secretary Peter Hughes said: "The intransigence by the HSE in this dispute, and its determination to deny hundreds of ambulance personnel their wish to be members of a branch of the PNA is unprecedented and unwarranted.

"The HSE case against recognising the right of ambulance personnel to be members of a branch of the PNA has no basis. 

"PNA ambulance branch is confident that it represents more members by far than at least one of the two unions recognised by the HSE for frontline paramedics."