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For Oral Answer on : 23/03/2023
Question Number(s): 29 Question Reference(s): 14192/23
Department: Defence
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Defence if he will outline the policy that has been developed by his Department with respect to the privileging of Civil Defence paramedic and advanced paramedic members; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) is an independent statutory agency with responsibility for standards in the field of pre-hospital emergency care, including setting rules on the privileging of paramedic and advanced paramedics.  

PHECC, also maintains a statutory register of Emergency Medical Service practitioners; which includes Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics.  There are three parts to the privileging of practitioners, as set down by PHECC:  

– The practitioner must be licensed to practice (EMT, Paramedic or Advanced Paramedic).

– The practitioner must be operating under the auspice of a Licensed Provider.

– The Licensed Provider must privilege the practitioner to practice on their behalf.

Civil Defence is a PHECC Licensed Provider.  A working group of staff from my Department and the Local Authority sector, including Civil Defence Officers and the County and City Managers Association (CCMA) manage this application on an annual basis.

My Department’s Privileging Policy and Procedures follows the PHECC governance standard to allow practitioners be privileged to practice for Local Authority Civil Defence units.  

The Civil Defence Branch of my Department currently privilege EMT practitioners to practice on behalf of the Local Authorities.

The 2023 privileging process does not include paramedics or advanced paramedics as the PHECC operational requirements have not been fully agreed by Civil Defence Officers.

I understand there are ongoing discussions within the Local Authority sector, regarding the management of Controlled Drugs within the Civil Defence Local Authority units.   Access to Controlled Drugs is a core requirement for Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics to practice.

Standards and governance in respect of Controlled Drugs are outlined under Misuse of Drugs Legislation and managed by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

When these discussions are concluded, my Department will work with the Local Authorities and Civil Defence Officers to complete the PHECC and HPRA process, in order to privilege paramedics and advanced paramedics to practice.