Civil Defence units across the country, including Clare, have been allocated new four-wheel drive vehicles to assist them respond to severe weather events and other incidents.
The Department of Defence applied for and was awarded €1m in funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund in 2019.
The vehicles, two of which have been allocated to Clare Civil Defence, will further enhance the Civil Defence fleet and ensure the organisation and its volunteers can continue to support the Principal Response Agencies of An Garda Síochána, the HSE and Local Authorities.
The 32 Ford Ranger crewcabs and are being supplied nationally through an Office of Government Procurement contract.
Welcoming the allocation of the new vehicles, Minister Kehoe said: “These new vehicles will be an additional resource for all types of Civil Defence operations such as severe weather events and missing person searches”. He also commented, “I am acutely aware that Civil Defence’s current fleet of vehicles including four wheel drives, vans, minibuses and ambulances have been significantly utilised since COVID-19 hit Ireland in March”.
Minister with Responsibility for Defence, @campaign4kehoe Paul Kehoe T.D. announces the allocation of 32 new four-wheel drive vehicles to Civil Defence units throughout the country #civildefence #volunteershttps://t.co/UOWjWon2CT
— Civil Defence IRL (@CivilDefenceIRL) June 8, 2020
Since March 17th, over 800 Civil Defence volunteers across the country have already provided 21,000 volunteer hours in over 2,500 individual taskings as part of the Covid-19 response including:
– transporting patients to hospitals, nursing homes and testing centres,
– collection of medications and medical equipment and delivering to patients homes,
– providing assistance to vulnerable persons within communities by delivering food and medications,
– supporting young people with special requirements in their education by delivering homework packs, and
– transporting test samples for the HSE to Laboratories.
The Minister concluded by acknowledging and thanking Civil Defence volunteers and their families for their service to the organisation throughout the year, but especially since mid-March and the onset of COVID-19.
Clare TD Joe Carey has welcomed the news saying: “I am delighted that two of the vehicles will be allocated to the Clare Unit. Throughout our response to Covid-19, our Civil Defence and other volunteer agencies played a vital role in their respective communities.
From transporting patients to hospitals, nursing homes and testing centres in Clare to the collection of medications and medical equipment – we are rightly proud of our Civil Defence volunteers.”