Civil Defence volunteers will play a major role in the Papal visit this weekend, Saturday August 25 and Sunday August 26. They will be involved on the ground in both the Phoenix Park and at Knock Shrine in supporting the principal response agencies of the Gardaí and the National Ambulance Services.
In terms of Knock Shrine, 140 volunteers will be on duty and coordinated by Rose Doherty, who is the Civil Defence Officer for Mayo. The 140 volunteers are drawn from counties Donegal, Sligo, Roscommon, Galway and Laois. While their main role will be assisting the Gardaí in terms of safety and stewarding at the event, volunteers will also be involved in supporting the National Ambulance Service. Volunteers will be on duty from Saturday night until Sunday evening.
Civil Defence will have four ambulances on duty at Knock manned by eight Emergency Medical Technicians. Civil Defence will also provide two four-wheel drive vehicles to assist the Gardaí in safety and stewarding. Laois Civil Defence will also provide a communications vehicle using the TETRA network to ensure efficient communications between all volunteers and with the Gardaí and National Ambulance Service if required. Finally, Roscommon Civil Defence will provide their Welfare unit to provide food for all volunteers on duty over the Saturday night and Sunday.
In terms of the Phoenix Park, where up to 500,000 people are expected on Sunday August 26, overall, there will be approximately 400 Civil Defence volunteers on duty. While Dublin Civil Defence under James McConnell, the Dublin Civil Defence Officer, will be the lead for Civil Defence they will be assisted by volunteers from counties Wexford, Wicklow, Clare, Cork, Laois, Kildare, Limerick, Meath, Monaghan, Kildare, Cavan, Louth and Offaly.
Volunteers will be supporting the National Ambulance Service and the Gardaí. Civil Defence will provide a range of equipment, including 11 ambulances, nine fire appliances, 19 heavy vehicles, including four-wheel drives, large vans and medium size trucks and two minibuses for transportation and logistics. A number of volunteers will also support the Gardaí with drone capability if required. Dublin Civil Defence will also provide a communications vehicle using the TETRA network to ensure efficient communications between all volunteers and with the Gardaí and National Ambulance Service if required. Civil Defence will also have a welfare unit in operation to provide food for all volunteers on duty over the Saturday night and Sunday.