Published on May 09, 2017
Welcoming the commencement of Tetra enabled digital radios, Tony Lawlor, National Director of Units, Irish Red Cross said that
“the new digital radios will be a secure, quality platform to assist Irish Red Cross personnel on ongoing public event cover and occasional major emergency support roles in severe weather and flooding support.”
Tony’s comments have been echoed by the National Director of Order of Malta Ireland and the Commissioner of St John Ireland. The Irish Red Cross, Order of Malta Ireland and St John Ireland have come together with the support of the national lottery service to upgrade their communications systems and introduce Tetra technology at a national level. The national digital radio services network will provide them with a secure, resilient, national footprint allowing them the ability to utilize interoperable communications for command & control when supporting the primary response agencies.
This was a natural next step for the Joint Voluntary Organisations Committee, an umbrella group representing the four main voluntary and auxiliary pre-hospital emergency care organisations. In December 2010 a Joint Voluntary Control Centre (JVCC) was activated for the first time by the Irish voluntary ambulance sector. 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. The JVCC is made up of The Irish Red Cross, Order of Malta Ireland and St John Ireland along with the Civil Defence (who are already a long standing user of the national digital radio network).
The JVCC initiative arose from a review of the voluntary sector response levels to recent adverse weather events in Ireland, such as the severe flooding in October and November 2009 and the heavy snowfalls in January 2010
The Voluntary Ambulance sector in Ireland provide Emergency Service Support for the Health Service Executive. These four agencies regularly provide patient care and support at large scale public events, including concerts, parades and sporting events. The Voluntary Ambulance services can uniquely mobilise significant resources in support of the HSE during a major emergency for ambulance transport, first aid, and patient evacuation. With their expertise and focus in the areas of first aid, patient support and patient transport, these organisations can significantly assist the Ambulance Service in many areas.
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