The Irish Red Cross has six 4×4 vehicles working at full capacity across Waterford and Wexford this evening. These vehicles have been tasked with various duties by HSE emergency management since the lifting of the blizzard warning today.
“In my estimation, these vehicles have attended to at least 11 call-outs across the two counties so far today,” says the Irish Red Cross’ Regional Director of Units for the South, Ted Noonan. “Safety is paramount and the driving conditions are very challenging, but are being handled very professionally by Irish Red Cross volunteers.”
Vehicles in Waterford were engaged in public health nurse transfers. In many cases, volunteer crews are local and this allows for local knowledge to assist in decision making. One vehicle in Enniscorthy was dedicated to dialysis patient transfers to hospital this morning but was then diverted to attend National Emergency Operations Centre calls in Rosslare.
Ambulance activity is not the only way the Irish Red Cross has been assisting in this locality. Due to the bad conditions in Waterford, Irish Red Cross volunteers took to the phones to check in with over 15 elderly people and ensure they were ok and have necessary supplies.
In Waterford, due to the bad conditions, Irish Red Cross volunteers have taken to the phones to check in with over 15 elderly people and ensure they are ok and have necessary supplies>https://t.co/yF7gC86e6t @WaterfordNS @WaterfordIRCCity #Beastfromtheeastireland pic.twitter.com/upeqrLbNMj
— Irish Red Cross (@irishredcross) March 2, 2018
At lunchtime today, the National Ambulance Service sought access to Irish Red Cross four-wheel-drive ambulances to bring advanced paramedic crews to acute calls. The Irish Red Cross communicated its available resources to the National Ambulance Service and placed 20 crewed 4×4 ambulances on standby in Leinster, Munster and the midwest.
The Irish Red Cross responded to a total of 21 call-outs yesterday in Louth, Meath, Dublin city, Tipperary, Wexford, Waterford, West Cork and North Cork. These call-outs were for public health nurse transport for essential paediatric visits, triaged patient transfer calls, key healthcare worker transports and dialysis transports. This was in addition to 20 call-outs the Irish Red Cross responded to on Wednesday.
The Irish Red Cross’ National Director of Units Tony Lawlor said; “it’s great that our volunteers using 4×4 Irish Red Cross vehicles are able to help the National Ambulance Service and patient and healthcare workers in such an extensive way.”
Requests have been received to help at several homeless charity locations and a number of Irish Red Cross volunteers are available to meet a request from the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive to assist at various locations in Dublin. Volunteers are standing by for confirmation of their final location and transport arrangements.
Irish Red Cross volunteers also assisted with humanitarian requests for water and accommodation on Wednesday.
Local branches across the country have issued text alerts in their communities regarding the availability of their local emergency personnel and 4×4 vehicles, should the need arise.
The Irish Red Cross is an auxiliary to state statutory services in times of national emergency.