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For Oral Answer on : 21/03/2024
Question Number(s): 33 Question Reference(s): 13045/24
Department: Defence
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 29 of 23 March 2023, to outline if discussions have concluded in order to privilege paramedics and advanced paramedics to practice in the Civil Defence; if his Department has been able to assist in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY


I would like to thank the Deputy for affording me the opportunity to provide an update in relation to this new initiative in the Civil Defence Sector.

It would be remiss of me at the outset, not to acknowledge the importance of Civil Defence and the role of Volunteers serving their communities. The organisation has a proud history of voluntary service and indeed I was very honoured to have recently presented medals to volunteers who, in some cases, have volunteered for over 60 years. I am sure the Deputy will join me in thanking all of the volunteers for the enormous contribution they have made over the years. We are, I believe, indebted to them.

Turning to the issue of paramedics operating in Civil Defence, I am pleased to confirm to the Deputy that a pilot programme is progressing with three Civil Defence Units in 2024. This programme will involve Kilkenny, Laois and Wexford Civil Defence Units, and is particularly important to the Wexford unit in the context of supporting Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2024, which is set to take place in Wexford in August.

This is a pilot programme and it is intended that lessons learnt will be shared with the wider Civil Defence and the Local Government Sector in the context of finalising a national strategy.