The Civil Defence Unit in Kilkenny will benefit from a new four-wheel drive vehicle that will respond to emergencies and severe weather events, Fine Gael’s John Paul Phelan, TD, has confirmed.
Deputy Phelan said, “Minister with responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, has allocated 32 new Ford Ranger crewcabs as part of the Government’s ongoing investment in Civil Defence.
“I am delighted that one of the vehicles will be allocated to the Kilkenny Unit. Carlow also gets one. Throughout our response to Covid-19, our Civil Defence and other volunteer agencies played a vital role in their respective communities.
“From transporting patients to hospitals, nursing homes and testing centres in Kilkenny and Carlow to the collection of medications and medical equipment – we are rightly proud of our Civil Defence volunteers.
“I therefore welcome that the Government is continuing to invest resources in Civil Defence, in this instance through the provision of vehicles. These new vehicles will be an additional resource for those who give their time and work so hard in times of emergency.
“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.”
The announcement follows the Department of Defence applying for and being awarded €1 million in funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund. The 32 vehicles are Ford Ranger crewcabs and are being supplied through an Office of Government Procurement contract.
Minister Kehoe added, “These new vehicles will be an additional resource for all types of Civil Defence operations such as severe weather events and missing person searches”. 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.”
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.