Order of Malta Thurles Snow Response

THE Thurles Unit of the Order of Malta Ireland was placed on standby at 7am on Wednesday last and had been on duty 24/7 in their 4×4 ambulance until Monday evening. The Joint Voluntary Control Centre was up and running from that moment. The aim of the JVCC is to provide the Health Service Executive (HSE) National Emergency Operations Centre with a single point of contact with the voluntary ambulance sector. This control centre is based in the Order of Malta National Headquarters in Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin. The JVCC is made up of The Irish Red Cross, St. John’s Ireland and Order of Malta Ireland.

Order of Malta Thurles Snow Response3,000 members throughout the country were placed on standby from Wednesday morning and most had been active from that moment. Captain Adrian Fallon, National Emergency Planning and Communications Officer stated:

“It is great to be part of a large community of volunteers who are willing to give their time to assist their colleagues in the Statutory Service and the local communities. This process highlights the excellent working relationship between all parties, both voluntary and statutory, on how we can come together to plan and prepare for the good of those around the country who need assistance”.

Using our high-tech Tetra radio system, Thurles were able to communicate with the JVCC and were able to respond within minutes to the calls. Some of the tasks undertaken by the Thurles Unit in recent days included the transport of the public health nurse in order for her to complete her tasks and transport to and from the A&E. Members, who are all volunteers, also assisted the National Ambulance Service with emergency calls, helping to access areas that ordinary ambulances could not go.

“The conditions at times were treacherous and we had to be careful so that we did not end up injured or casualties ourselves,” said Irene O’Loughlin, Officer in Charge.

The Order of Malta Thurles Unit is a non-profit organisation and all members are volunteers. Irene said: “All donations we receive go directly into providing first aid and emergency care to the people of Thurles area and beyond.”

For more on the work of http://www.orderofmaltaireland.org/ or follow the Order of Malta Ireland Thurles Unit.


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