Defence Forces and Civil Defence played vital role during Storm Emma

Cork based Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, is praising members of the Defence Forces and Civil Defence for the vital roles they played throughout the country in response to Storm Emma.

Nationwide, over 1,332 members of the Defence Forces were deployed in response to over 300 separate requests for assistance by primary response agencies such as the HSE, An Garda Síochána, the ESB and local authorities. Defence Forces operations staff also liaised with their counterparts at National and Regional Emergency Coordination Group level advising on capabilities and resources available during the emergency period.

According to Senator Lombard the activities of the defence forces personnel included transporting patients and medical staff, transporting meals, clearing paths and generally assisting the emergency services.

The Civil Defence, which is made up of 3,500 volunteers, also played an integral part in keeping our communities safe. Some the activities of the Civil Defence here in Cork included: numerous patient transfers and transportation of district nurses and essential staff to vulnerable clients; providing support to vulnerable persons; transported people from adult disability centre in Skibbereen to their homes in Dunmanway, Bantry, and Clonakility; activated a severe weather resilience desk which provided a focal point for Voluntary Emergency Services to support the PRAs.

Senator Lombard commended the work of both the Defence Forces and Civil Defence in response to Storm Emma, saying: “We cannot list all the ways in which these personnel assisted our communities during the recent snow storm. Both the Defence Forces and Civil Defence showed tremendous leadership during this severe weather period; from assisting the national ambulance service to our ESB crews, their contribution to our community deserves the utmost of recognition.

“Personnel worked night and day, supported by many of their local colleagues in the national ambulance service and coastguard.  What we saw during Storm Emma was incredible collaboration between all the state agencies.

“I know I speak on behalf of everyone when I say thank you to the Defence Forces, Civil Defence, and all state bodies that were involved in the response.

“While the storm may be over, the clean-up must now take place. Our local council will work with other agencies to ensure all life returns to normal in all communities across the county.

“We have seen recently, with both Storm Ophelia and Storm Emma, that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. That’s why it is important we invest in climate action. The New National Development Plan, Project Ireland 2040, contains provision for €22bn of investment in this area.”

Minister with responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe was actively involved in coordinating the overall response to Storm Emma.

Minister Kehoe said: “Our personnel have worked round the clock throughout the past number of days as part of the response efforts to Storm Emma. The Defence Forces and Civil Defence always remain on standby to assist in cases of emergency.  I want to again thank them for their tremendous service in keeping our communities safe.”

 

05 March 2018

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