Community First Responder Group Launched in Enniscorthy Town

23 May

Yesterday (20th May) marked the coming together of Enniscorthy Civil Defence and Enniscorthy Red Cross volunteers to establish a Community First Responder (CFR) Group within Enniscorthy Town. The group consists of trained volunteers from both organisations who will respond to cardiac arrest and choking incidents within Enniscorthy Town.

The group is made up of volunteers who are first aid trained and is a joint initiative of the two organisations who are working closely with the National Ambulance Service (NAS). The group has been fully supported by the National Ambulance Service, who  provide scenario training of events they may encounter while responding.

Jonathan Lynch National Ambulance service said “The National Ambulance Service is delighted to work with Wexford Civil Defence and Enniscorthy Red Cross to bring a community first responder scheme to the town. We are grateful to the volunteer members who have given so freely of their time in preparation for this and upon activation will join over 260 other first responder schemes nationwide in responding to cardiac emergencies within the community in support of the Ambulance Service”.

The volunteers will be alerted to calls by National Ambulance Service (NAS) via a mobile application, once two volunteers are available, they will respond utilising the existing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) which are located around Enniscorthy Town. These AEDs where installed by the Enniscorthy defibrillator initiative group. The volunteers will respond to calls within the Enniscorthy area, to include the town and immediate surrounding areas.

Speaking at the Launch Cathaoirleach of Enniscorthy Municipal District Cllr. John O’ Rourke said: ‘I am delighted to see the launch of the Enniscorthy Town CFR group. It is a welcome step towards helping communities to take immediate action in emergency situations. This early attendance could literally be the difference between life and death where every minute counts. I would encourage members of the community to join the group to help save more lives and foster a sense of community resilience’

The CFR group will utilise existing AEDs which have been located at various locations around Enniscorthy town. The group will go live as from Monday 27th May and will respond to calls received from the National Ambulance Service.

If anyone is interested in joining the Group, please contact Peter O’Connor, Civil Defence Officer, email or Paddy Redmond, Enniscorthy Red Cross, email

Paramedic Medications Trial

11 Apr

Tánaiste welcomes pilot programme for paramedic-level medical cover in Civil Defence

From Department of Defence 

Published on 11 April 2024

Last updated on 11 April 2024

The Tánaiste and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD today (11th April) welcomed the launch of a Civil Defence pilot programme to provide medical cover to paramedic level.

The six-month pilot involves three Civil Defence Units – Kilkenny, Laois and Wexford.

The Tánaiste commented, “Civil Defence volunteers provide an invaluable service across the length and breadth of Ireland. This pilot will enhance the medical response capability of Civil Defence volunteers in their local communities.

I have seen at first-hand recently how the Civil Defence continues to upskill and professionalise its service provision, while retaining its volunteer ethos.

This is another example of how Civil Defence continues to enhance its skillset and service to the community and I look forward to seeing the results of this pilot in at the end of the Summer.”

This new level of medical cover will be of immediate benefit to Wexford Civil Defence, with Wexford hosting Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in August 2024. Volunteers in that county will now be in a position to provide a higher level of medical cover to spectators at the event.

With immediate effect, qualified Civil Defence Volunteers involved in the pilot programme will be able to administer medications up to and including paramedic level.

Following the conclusion of the pilot programme, it is intended that lessons learnt will be shared with the wider Civil Defence and the Local Government Sector with a view to finalising a national strategy.

Recruitment 2023

30 Apr

We are running a recruitment open day on Saturday 27th May from 1000am to 1500 in Wexford County Council, County Hall, Carriglawn, Y35WY93, this is an opportunity for you to meet existing volunteers, have a look at the equipment we use and find out about all the training and community supports we care out in your area.

We are also looking for volunteers to train as Instructors in different disciplines including, first aid, rescue, search skills, swift water etc.

To Book your place or ask for further information please email

Recruitment Process

All potential recruits must first complete the following

Complete a successful Interview, complete the application form, submit two passport-sized photos, and provide photographic proof of identification.

Meet our Minimum Training Standard (MTS)

  • Tusla Child First (Online course)
  • Garda Vetting
  • Manual Handling
  • CFR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation)

All recruits must complete a period of probation before full membership is achieved.

What we do………….

Wexford Civil Defence currently have training centres in Enniscorthy, Gorey, New Ross and Wexford. We are recruiting additional volunteers to help provide the services within the county of Wexford. We have volunteers of all ages from 18 to upwards.

We have a large range of equipment and vehicles placed throughout the county, volunteers are trained in the use of all equipment, radios, Swiftwater, rescue, Auxiliary Fire Service, Welfare to include Food Safety and you courses.

All courses are available to new volunteer recruits. Volunteers are selected for driving and boating courses, selection is based on passing a low-risk driving assessment. 

The services Civil Defence provides can be broken down into 5 distinct areas.

Emergency Response

Civil Defence’s Emergency Response will support the Principal Response Agencies (Local Authority, An Garda Síochána and HSE) in times of emergencies. Roles undertaken here may include:

  • roles set out for Civil Defence within each respective Local Authority Major Emergency Plan,
  • supporting the Local Authority in times of flooding through Civil Defence AFS units and Swiftwater teams,
  • supporting the Principal Response Agencies – Local Authorities, HSE and An Garda Síochána in providing emergency response including severe weather events,
  • supporting the Local Authority by transporting displaced persons from their homes to designated Local Authority rest centres. As set out in MEM Guide 6, the Local Authority is responsible for staffing rest centres and registering affected persons. Civil Defence may assist if requested by the Local Authority.

Search & Rescue

Civil Defence support and assist An Garda Síochána in this area. We train volunteers in search skills to be Search Responders and search management skills, We utilise drones, boats and mapping software.

Medical Response

We provide a Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) licenced emergency medical service. Volunteers can achieve certification as instructors for Cardiac First Response, First Aid Response and Emergency First Response. We provide training for volunteers up to Emergency Medical Technicians. All volunteer Certification and re-certification comply with PHECC (Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council) standards.

Community Assistance

While emergency support is the priority task of Civil Defence, by their nature such events are not regular. In that context, community events allow volunteers to practice their skills, raise the profile of the organisation, and may attract new volunteers. Volunteers enjoy and take pride in contributing to events within their local community. Where resources permit, Civil Defence will continue to support appropriate community events. Preference will be given to local authority, charitable and not-for-profit events. Civil Defence support for community events can take many forms, including the provision of medical cover and safety boat cover.

Radiation Monitoring

One of the central pillars of Civil Defence since its establishment in 1951, has been radiation monitoring. In 2015, the Department of Defence and the Environmental Protection Agency, consolidated the role of Civil Defence to the measurement of background gamma radiation and the sampling of soil and grass to supplement the automatic recording stations throughout the State.

Voluntary Emergency Services Training Day

11 Mar

Wexford County Council, hosted a Voluntary Emergency Services (VES) Information day for Waterford and Wexford area in County Hall on Saturday 4th March 2023. This information day was arranged by the VES Sub-group. The VES group represents voluntary emergency services from Carlow, Kilkenny Waterford and Wexford and is supported by the Principal Response Agencies (PRA) (An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive and the Local Authorities). Peter O’Connor, Civil Defence Officer for Wexford is Chairman of the Group, with representatives from the Irish Red Cross, Order of Malta and the South East Mountain Rescue Association.

Carolyne Godkin, Director of Services for Wexford County Council with responsibilities for Emergency Services, welcomed everyone to the event and thanked them for their contribution to the evacuation of WGH on Wednesday.  The training day focussed on the valuable role that the VES can provide in support of the PRA during major events. The day was planned for several months and was to finish with a transportation exercise in support of the HSE in a severe weather event. The events on Wednesday with the fire in Wexford General Hospital changed the schedule of the day and rather than have an exercise the focus was on the events during the evacuation of WGH and the supports provided by the VES.

Each VES made a presentation to the group to outlining their structures, resources, equipment and capabilities that could be used to support the PRA. Peter O’Connor presented on behalf of Civil Defence, Paddy Redmond on behalf of the Red Cross, Dylan O’Connor of behalf of Order of Malta. South East Blood bikes attended also to introduce themselves to the VES and highlight the important work they carry out on a daily and weekly basis. The PRA s contributed with presentations on how the VES support them. Marianna Kealy, Inter Agency Emergency Management Officer outlined how the VES and the PRAs are aligned and work together in planning and response to Major Emergency Management in the South East.  Mary Rose Fitzgerald presented on behalf of the HSE explaining HSE structure and the VES support to date. Inspector Graham Rowley and Sergeant Eddie Wilde presented on behalf of AGS in relation to the response to the WGH fire and working the VES. Ray Murphy SACFO, Wexford Fire Services discussed the events of Wednesday fire from both a fire and the VES response.

Linda O Leary, Hospital Manager, Wexford General Hospital attended the event and expressed her gratitude to all present for their professional and timely response to support the hospital evacuation on Wednesday.

The event proved to be hugely beneficial and further training days are planned for the future to continue to enhance the interactions between the VES and the PRA.

Voluntary Emergency Services South East Group meeting in Wexford County Council on Saturday. Paddy Redmond, Marianne Kealy, David O’Grady, Peter O’Connor, Mary Rose Fitzgerald, Graham Rowley, Eddie Wilde and Carolyn Godkin
Voluntary Emergency Services South East Group meeting in Wexford County Council on Saturday. Wexford Civil Defence Emer Doyle, Liam Healy, Sinead Furlong, Pater O’Connor, Philip Creane, Jonathan McDonald and Charlie Parnell