Irish Red Cross on standby in advance of adverse weather #beastfromtheeast

Leinster Express Reporter

Reporter:

Leinster Express Reporter

Irish Red Cross on standby in advance of adverse weather conditions

Irish Red Cross on standby in advance of adverse weather conditions

Red Cross off-road vehicles could be called into action to come to the aid of people snowed in or in need of help of this week's winter storm hits hard.

The Irish Red Cross has been requested by the HSE to identify its vehicle resources – namely road ambulances, off-road ambulances and 4x4 vehicles on a county-by-county basis in advance of the onset of the 'Beast from the East'.

The charity was also asked to assess its volunteer availability to crew these vehicles.

These requests were made of the charity’s voluntary ambulance division at a meeting of the National Emergency Co-Ordination Group (NECG) twhere similar requests have been made to other Irish voluntary emergency services.

Tony Lawlor, the Irish Red Cross’ National Director of Units said; 

“While both State and voluntary emergency bodies need to prepare for the ‘worst-case scenario’, the Irish Red Cross and other similar bodies have substantial experience in dealing with the expected conditions. The Irish Red Cross played a strong support role in the nationwide response to the heavy snow that fell in 2010 and 1982.”

The Irish Red Cross is an auxiliary to state statutory services in times of national emergency. During Storm Ophelia, 38 units of the Irish Red Cross were on standby across the country, a crucial measure given Irish Red Cross volunteers made 17 call-outs due to the extreme weather conditions.

These call-outs saw volunteers transfer patients to and from hospital and to nursing homes, while volunteers also facilitated transfers for essential hospital staff to work.