Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe T.D. provides an update on activities of the Defence Forces and Civil Defence.
The Defence Forces have deployed 26 personnel and seven 4×4 vehicles in a range of support to communities in Cork, Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford so far this morning.
In Cork, following requests from the HSE and local authorities, three 4×4 vehicles and six personnel are transporting palliative care staff to house bound patients, as well as providing general transport support.
In Wexford and Waterford, following a request from the HSE, two 4×4 vehicles and four personnel are assisting in transporting essential medical staff, as well as patients requiring medical treatment, to and from Wexford and Waterford General Hospitals.
In Kilkenny, following a request from Kilkenny County Council, two 4×4 vehicles and 16 personnel are assisting the local community with the provision of a meals on wheels service, as well as clearing snow and ice from key locations in Kilkenny City.
In Kildare, following a request from Kildare County Council, support is being provided for essential staff transport for nursing homes and a snow plough has been provided.
Civil Defence Units countrywide are on standby to assist communities and are currently active across a range of activities. Civil Defence has 3,500 volunteers based in every Local Authority area in the country. Civil Defence has a wide range of equipment to deal with severe weather including 88 Boats, 47 Fire Tenders, 9 Floating Pontoon Units and 130 Four Wheel Drive vehicles.
The Defence Forces, Civil Defence and Department of Defence, as part of the National Emergency Management Group, are monitoring the requirement for support and local units are liaising with their counterparts in the County Councils, HSE and Garda Siochana.
Speaking from the National Coordination Centre this afternoon, Minister of State with responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe said:
“The Defence Forces and Civil Defence are responding to a number of requests for assistance and will continue to do so during this extreme weather period.”
Minister Kehoe stated that it is up to each local authority to request the assistance of the Defence Forces:
“My strong advice to people is to remain calm and not to make any unnecessary journeys.Check in on your elderly and vulnerable neighbours and continue to visit www.gov.ie for updates.”