New jeep to support the work of Wexford Civil Defence

14 Oct
(L to R: Liam Healy, Liam Buckley, Noel Stacey, Peter O’Connor, Wexford Civil Defence, Minister Paul Kehoe, T.D., Ciaran Fitzpatrick, Wexford Civil Defence,  Tom Enright, CE and  John Carley, Director of Services, Wexford County Council

Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe, T.D. was at Wexford County Council Headquarterson Friday last 11 October where he presented the keys of a brand new jeep to Wexford Civil Defence.  The €34,000 4 x wheel drive Ford Ranger Crew-Cab was specifically selected for its capacity to deal with the often challenging conditions faced by Civil Defence crews as they assist in the response to national emergencies and severe weather events.

The jeep is part of a major upgrade of the national Civil Defence fleet which has seen the provision of 16 such jeeps to Civil Defence crews in Cavan, Clare, Cork West, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Sligo and Wexford. The funding was provided by a €500,000 allocation from the Government’s Dormant Accounts fund.

The business case for the vehicle upgrade made to the Department of Community and Rural Development was based on the fact that many of the activities carried out by Civil Defence during the recent severe weather events took place in rural, isolated areas and/or in disadvantaged areas of the large urban centres, with prioritisation of allocation of new vehicles focused on local authorities covering these areas.

During Storm Ophelia in October 2017 and Storm Emma in March 2018, the Wexford Civil Defence fleet of four-wheel drive vehicles was utilised in carrying out a variety of tasks, such as assisting local authorities, the HSE and the National Ambulance Service and An Garda Síochána.. During the highly adverse weather conditions of Storm Emma, Civil Defence volunteers assisted dozens of vulnerable people throughout the county who found themselves snowed in. They were also involved in transporting patients and carers, evacuating people from their homes and delivering meals.

Wexford Civil Defence Officer Peter O’Connor welcomed the allocation of the new jeep to Wexford. “This much-needed 4-wheel drive jeep will be a highly valuable resource for Wexford Civil Defence in times of emergency as our crews work to keep people safe” said Peter. “Its provision is also an important acknowledgement of the work of our volunteers and their ongoing commitment to Civil Defence” he added.

Wexford County Council Civil Defence currently has 136 active Volunteers, of which 34 were recruited in 2019, while a new unit was also established in Enniscorthy in 2019. The Wexford Civil Defence vehicle fleet consists of eight 4x4s, four ambulances – one based in each of the four main towns – together with two minibuses and one Incident Control Vehicle.

In 2018 Wexford Civil Defence provided assistance to more than 100 community events throughout County Wexford, while the work of its volunteer crews during Wexford’s coordinated response to Storm Emma and Storm Ophelia earlier that year has been locally and nationally recognised and applauded. Civil Defence volunteers are highly trained and provide valuable assistance to the Principal Response Agencies (local authorities, an Garda Siochána, HSE and Ambulance Services) during times of emergency. New volunteers are always welcome. If you would like to consider joining Wexford Civil Defence, contact for more information.

Civil Defence PHECC issue has been resolved

15 Aug

August 14, 2019

Paul Kehoe T.D, Minister with Responsibility for Defence confirms his Department has submitted a licence renewal application to PHECC, to provide Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Services

Today Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe T.D. confirmed that his Department has submitted an application to the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) to renew the recognition of Civil Defence as a Pre Hospital Emergency Care Service Provider. This allows Civil Defence to continue to provide emergency medical services.

This follows intensive engagement since earlier this year, between officials from the Department of Defence, from Local Authorities represented by the County and City Management Association and from PHECC.

Civil Defence’s current licence was due to expire at the end of November 2018. Following an application by the Department of Defence and subsequent discussions with PHECC, this was extended to 30th July 2019 and subsequently again to the 31st August 2019.

The delay in submitting a completed licence application arose from a review by the Department of Defence of the Statutory Declaration which is an intrinsic element of the licence application. That review identified that some assurances and details required as part of the licensing process were not within the control or remit of the Department of Defence, as responsibility for day to day Civil Defence operations rests with Local Authorities, as set out in the 2015 Government White Paper on Defence.

The Statutory Declaration consists of 26 individual elements. Following constructive engagement between the Department of Defence and the County and City Management Association on behalf of Local Authorities, it has been agreed that Local Authorities will provide the assurance for 7 of the individual elements with the assurance for the remainder being provided by the Department of Defence. There will however be only one licence application to PHECC, submitted by the Department of Defence on behalf of the entire Civil Defence organisation.

The new PHECC licence will run up to the 31st August 2020.

The Minister commented that he is satisfied to see the issue has been resolved through constructive engagement between all three organisations. In particular, he noted, “management and Civil Defence personnel representing Local Authorities have a crucial role to play in terms of Civil Defence and I look forward to continued close engagement between my officials and officials representing Local Authorities”.

He added “I would like to thank officials from PHECC for their co-operation and support in resolving this issue and I look forward to continued positive engagement between my Department and PHECC, on a range of issues”.  

He concluded by stating “I am very conscious that Civil Defence volunteers have been anxious about this issue and I would like to thank them for their patience”. I wish to assure them that with the licence issue now resolved, the organisation can continue to deliver the professional level of emergency medical service that it is renowned for”. 


New Instructors – Graduation

11 May

Wexford Civil Defence has four new instructors after a Graduation Ceremony in the Civil Defence College Roscrea on Friday 10th May. We have two new Swiftwater Responder Instructors, 2 new Search Instructors and a new CFR / FAR Instructors.

Search Skills – Carrigbyrne Hill

27 Mar

Volunteers from Wexford Civil Defence attended a Search Skills Exercise in Carrigbyrne on Sunday. We had volunteers from Enniscorthy, Gorey, New Ross and Wexford Units. Volunteers were introduced to the new Search Responders course searching techniques, Communications vehicle and procedures to take into consideration for a possible crime scene. Thanks to all the volunteers and Instructors for attending.