he Irish Red Cross (IRC) responded to 20 call-outs yesterday, mainly in the south and the east of the country.
A total of 60 triaged and prioritised calls, requested by the National Ambulance Service, were attended to by the three national voluntary ambulance services yesterday; 20 of these were handled specifically by the Irish Red Cross.
IRC call-outs ranged from patient transfers (including transport of dialysis patients) to HSE-staff transfers (including transfer of public health nurses), to triaged urgent patient discharges, along with other essential support calls, as required by the National Ambulance Service.
The call-outs were in Laois, Cork, Wexford, Waterford, Louth, Meath, Dublin, Kildare, Offaly and Tipperary.
The Irish Red Cross’ National Director of Units Tony Lawlor said; “it’s great that our volunteers using 4x4 Irish Red Cross vehicles are able to help the National Ambulance Service and patient and healthcare workers in such an extensive way in the 20 calls we attended yesterday.”
The Irish Red Cross notified the HSE on Tuesday that it had a range of vehicles on standby across the country ahead of the extreme weather conditions. This was in response to a request by the HSE at Monday’s meeting of the National Emergency Co-Ordination Group (NECG) where the Irish Red Cross was asked to advise on the availability of its road ambulances, stretcher-bearing off-road ambulances, and 4x4 vehicles with passenger accommodation.
The Irish Red Cross is an auxiliary to state statutory services in times of national emergency.
People are advised to remain indoors for the duration of the red weather warning and not to put any undue pressure on emergency services.