Report of Civil Defence COVID-19 related support during 2020

14 January 2021

From 17th March to 31st December Civil Defence completed 5,420 taskings while providing sustained support to communities throughout the country. Support was also provided to the Department of Justice and Equality and the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.


During this 290 day period:

  • A daily average of 38 Civil Defence volunteers provided a daily average of 152 volunteer hours.
  • A total of 44,100 volunteer hours were provided by over 900 different Civil Defence volunteers.
  • A total of 5,420 individual taskings were undertaken in support to the Principal Response Agencies, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and the Department of Justice & Equality.
  • These volunteers were supported by a fleet of Civil Defence Vehicles including 93 four-wheel drive jeeps, 39 vans, 31 ambulances, 27 minibuses, 3 operational support vehicles, 2 trucks & 1 welfare trailer.


Civil Defence Co-Ordination

The Department of Defence had a co-ordination mechanism in place with all Civil Defence Officers in Local Authorities and met via tele-conference with all Civil Defence Officers and Assistant Civil Defence Officers, on a weekly basis during the peak of the crisis. This changed to fortnightly and subsequently monthly tele-conferences as the situation dictated.

Most Civil Defence Officers have been involved in the Community Call forums within their Local Authorities.


Civil Defence Taskings

All 29 Local Authority Civil Defence Units were tasked by the Principal Response Agencies to support their COVID-19 efforts. Support was also provided by some units to the Department of Justice and Equality and the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Examples of the types of tasks undertaken by Civil Defence volunteers include;

  • providing administrative assistance to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service,
  • transporting patients to hospitals, nursing homes and testing centres,
  • collection of medications and medical equipment and delivering to patients homes,
  • transporting test samples daily for the HSE to the UCD National Laboratory and to other Laboratories,
  • providing assistance to vulnerable persons within communities by delivering food and medications and collecting their post,
  • supporting young people with special requirements in their education by delivering homework packs,
  • delivering essential PPE to community hospitals and nursing homes,
  • transporting COVID-19 positive persons from accommodation centres to other locations to allow for self-isolation,
  • transporting healthcare staff from their accommodation to nursing homes,
  • transporting healthcare workers involved in carrying out COVID-19 testing to nursing homes,
  • setting up isolation centres and transporting food and laundry for homeless services,
  • collecting foodstuffs from suppliers and bakers for food hub,
  • distributing PPE for local authority sector,
  • delivering activity packs to families on behalf of family resource centre,
  • providing Information Manager to Inter Agency Emergency Management Office,
  • delivering PPE ‘donning and doffing’ training to local authority,
  • delivering ‘first aid/safety in the home’ zoom demo to at risk members of the community,
  • sorting and packing PPE packs for funeral undertakers,
  • assisting with monitoring of beaches,
  • delivering clothing to women’s refuge