Cork City Civil Defence volunteers have this week been deployed in response to the ongoing Covid-19 emergency.
Volunteers are available to support the primary response agencies by providing skills obtained through training which prepares them to respond to any incident where support to the frontline emergency services is required.
Civil Defence has over 3,500 volunteer members across the country who are trained in casualty, search and rescue, auxiliary fire service, radiation monitoring, welfare, and communications.
Volunteers from the Cork City unit are this week supporting the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (ITBS) with their clinic in the City Hall.
Volunteers are abiding by both Civil Defence and ITBS protocols while carrying out their roles and have been provided with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required.
Assistant Civil Defence Officer of Cork City Civil Defence, Veronica Forde, said that planning is also in place for volunteer ambulance crews to assist the National Ambulance Service as and when required.
Two volunteers who are trained information managers with Cork City Civil Defence will also be supporting the Inter Agency Emergency Management Office with the Information Management system from Thursday.
The purpose of the information management system is to facilitate decision-making in a major emergency. The quality of the information presented to decision-makers is crucial to effective decision-making during such an emergency.
A total of 11 volunteers have been activated to date and other volunteers have made themselves available at the Civil Defence training centre in Ballyvolane to make sure the vehicles and equipment are checked, fuelled, and ready to respond if and when required.
Assistant Officer Forde said that the volunteers’ involvement in the response to the Covid-19 emergency allows them to contribute to the community and utilise the skills they have learned in preparation for an incident such as this.
“There is huge willingness on behalf of the volunteers to play a part in the response to Covid-19 and there are so many roles that can be undertaken whether they are patient facing or non-patient facing but it’s important that everybody is contributing to make up the whole response.
“Everybody is playing a part, regardless of the role, they are all contributing to the overall response.
“I have pride in Civil Defence nationally and at local level for the response that all the volunteers are providing and the pride that they take in being able to contribute. There are so many people behind the campaign to flatten the curve and they value the part that they are playing in contributing to the overall response,” she said.