EMERGENCY services are set to get a boost as Laois Civil Defence takes delivery of a new ambulance.
Within weeks the Civil Defence will have the new ambulance available if needed when its volunteers are called into help with emergencies or provide other back up.
Apart from being equipped with life saving equipment, it will be manned by two Civil Defence volunteers who are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) - similar to HSE ambulance crew.
The vehicle will be imported from Britain but will be refurbished before being put into use. It has been part funded by Laois County Council and the Civil Defence Board.
The good news was revealed by Officer Liam Preston at County Hall where the Laois Civil Defence was honoured for 62 years of voluntary service to the people of Laois.
“I have received documentation in relation to the ambulance. It is on its way,” he said.
Office Preston thanked the council and the Civil Defence Board for funding half the cost and for supporting the purchase of other new equipment.
The ambulance is part of an ongoing upgrade of equipment and buildings used by the 80 volunteers. Early this year a new base opened in Mountmellick, while the old centre is set to become the base for a rescue vessel used in flooding.
The Durrow and Stradbally bases are also being upgraded, while last year the Civil Defence took delivery of a 4x4 ambulance which was used to save a life in the Slieve Blooms.
The unit once again has a dog which has been invaluable during search and rescue efforts around the county. Equipment, building and training is funded with public money through the council and the Civil Defence Board.
Peter Carey, County Manager thanked the Civil Defence Board for its ongoing support and said he was happy to help back the new ambulance service.
“We have one of the best equipped Civil Defences in the country. It is very important to encourage the volunteers to have good equipment and you certainly have that in Laois,” he said.
Mr Bill Smith, Director General, thanked the council for its ongoing commitment.
See Page 16 for more coverage on this Civic Reception