June 8, 2020
Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe T.D. announces the allocation of 32 new four-wheel drive vehicles to Civil Defence units throughout the country
Today Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe T.D. announced the allocation of 32 new four-wheel drive vehicles to Civil Defence units throughout the country. This 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.
This follows from the Department of Defence applying for and being awarded €1 million in funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund in 2019.
The 32 vehicles are Ford Ranger crewcabs and are being supplied 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”.
In terms of the Civil Defence response during COVID-19, since 17 March, over 800 Civil Defence volunteers have already provided 21,000 volunteer hours in over 2,500 individual taskings. The type of taskings Civil Defence volunteers have undertaken include:-
- 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.