Civil Defence Support to the Principal Response Agencies during the Papal Visit.

August 27, 2018

Civil Defence volunteers played a major role in the Papal visit over the course of the weekend, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August. They were involved on the ground in both the Phoenix Park and at Knock Shrine in supporting the Principal Response Agencies (Gardaí and the National Ambulance Services).

At Knock Shrine, 140 volunteers were on duty, coordinated by Rose Doherty,  Mayo Civil Defence Officer. The 140 volunteers were drawn from counties Donegal, Sligo, Roscommon, Galway and Laois. While their main role was assisting the Gardaí in terms of safety and stewarding at the event, volunteers were also involved in supporting the National Ambulance Service. Volunteers were on duty from Saturday night until Sunday evening. Civil Defence had four ambulances on duty at Knock manned by eight Emergency Medical Technicians. Civil Defence also provided two Four Wheel Drive Vehicles to assist the Gardaí in safety and stewarding. Laois Civil Defence provided a Communications Vehicle using the TETRA network which ensured efficient communications between all volunteers and with the Gardaí and National Ambulance Service.  Roscommon Civil Defence Welfare Unit provided food for all volunteers on duty over the Saturday night and Sunday.

In the Phoenix Park approximately 400 Civil Defence volunteers were on duty, coordinated by Dublin Civil Defence Officer, James McConnell. Volunteers from Wexford, Wicklow, Clare, Cork, Laois, Kildare, Limerick, Meath, Monaghan, Kildare, Cavan, Louth and Offaly assisted Dublin Civil Defence. Volunteers supported the National Ambulance Service and the Gardaí. Civil Defence provided a range of equipment including 11 Ambulances, 9 Fire Appliances, 19 Heavy Vehicles including Four Wheel Drives, Large Vans, Trucks and two Minibuses for transportation and logistics. A number of volunteers also supported the Gardaí with drone capability as and when required. Dublin Civil Defence provided a Communications Vehicle using the TETRA network which ensured efficient communications between all volunteers and with the Gardai and National Ambulance Service. Civil Defence also had a Welfare Unit in operation to provide food for all volunteers on duty over the Saturday night and Sunday.