Civil Defence PHECC issue has been resolved

14 August 2019

Paul Kehoe T.D, Minister with Responsibility for Defence confirms his Department has submitted a licence renewal application to PHECC, to provide Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Services

Today Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe T.D. confirmed that his Department has submitted an application to the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) to renew the recognition of Civil Defence as a Pre Hospital Emergency Care Service Provider. This allows Civil Defence to continue to provide emergency medical services.

This follows intensive engagement since earlier this year, between officials from the Department of Defence, from Local Authorities represented by the County and City Management Association and from PHECC.

Civil Defence’s current licence was due to expire at the end of November 2018. Following an application by the Department of Defence and subsequent discussions with PHECC, this was extended to 30th July 2019 and subsequently again to the 31st August 2019.

The delay in submitting a completed licence application arose from a review by the Department of Defence of the Statutory Declaration which is an intrinsic element of the licence application. That review identified that some assurances and details required as part of the licensing process were not within the control or remit of the Department of Defence, as responsibility for day to day Civil Defence operations rests with Local Authorities, as set out in the 2015 Government White Paper on Defence.

The Statutory Declaration consists of 26 individual elements. Following constructive engagement between the Department of Defence and the County and City Management Association on behalf of Local Authorities, it has been agreed that Local Authorities will provide the assurance for 7 of the individual elements with the assurance for the remainder being provided by the Department of Defence. There will however be only one licence application to PHECC, submitted by the Department of Defence on behalf of the entire Civil Defence organisation.

The new PHECC licence will run up to the 31st August 2020.

The Minister commented that he is satisfied to see the issue has been resolved through constructive engagement between all three organisations. In particular, he noted, “management and Civil Defence personnel representing Local Authorities have a crucial role to play in terms of Civil Defence and I look forward to continued close engagement between my officials and officials representing Local Authorities”.

He added “I would like to thank officials from PHECC for their co-operation and support in resolving this issue and I look forward to continued positive engagement between my Department and PHECC, on a range of issues”.   

He concluded by stating “I am very conscious that Civil Defence volunteers have been anxious about this issue and I would like to thank them for their patience”. I wish to assure them that with the licence issue now resolved, the organisation can continue to deliver the professional level of emergency medical service that it is renowned for”.