Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Civil Defence

Photo of Sorca ClarkeSorca Clarke (Longford-Westmeath, Sinn Fein)
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119. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the nature of the support provided and the corresponding hourly equivalent including the number of trips and kilometres provided by the Civil Defence in support of the HSE operations relating to Covid-19. [56518/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Civil Defence is a volunteer based organisation that supports the Principal Response Agencies (i.e. An Garda Síochána , the HSE and local authorities), government departments and state agencies during national, regional and local emergency and non-emergency events.

From 17 March 2020 to 31 October 2021 Civil Defence volunteers completed 9,184 COVID-19 related taskings while providing sustained support to communities throughout the country.

During this 594 day period:

- A daily average of 32 Civil Defence volunteers provided a daily average of 139 volunteer hours.

- A total of 82,142 volunteer hours were provided by over 900 different Civil Defence volunteers.

- A total of 9,184 individual taskings were undertaken in support to the Principal Response Agencies including the HSE. Support was also provided to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and the Department of Justice & Equality.

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

- providing administrative and first aid assistance at HSE Vaccination Centres

- providing administrative assistance to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service

- transporting persons to and from hospital appointments

- transporting persons to and from nursing homes

- transporting persons to and from testing centres

- sorting and delivering COVID-19 test kits to test centres

- transporting elderly persons to Health Centres and Mass Vaccination Centres

- collecting foodstuffs from suppliers and bakers for food hubs

- delivering food parcels to vulnerable households

- providing assistance to vulnerable persons within communities

- delivering essential PPE to community hospitals and nursing homes

- transporting COVID-19 positive persons from accommodation centres to other locations toallow for self-isolation

- setting up isolation centres and transporting food and laundry for homeless services

The Department of Defence does not hold a record specific to the number of trips and kilometres travelled by Civil Defence in support of the HSE operations relating to Covid-19.

I want to take this opportunity to commend the wonderful work undertaken by Civil Defence volunteers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, their work has been invaluable in supporting communities during this period.

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