Beast from the East no match for the beast on wheels

Civil Defence Severe Weather Relief Efforts – Crews transport essential staff to work in KUH during the bad weather. Photo by Domnick Walsh
Civil Defence Severe Weather Relief Efforts – Crews transport essential staff to work in KUH during the bad weather. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Sinead Kelleher

Kerry Civil Defence, who co-ordinated the voluntary emergency services during Storm Emma, was more prepared than most - thanks to a new Unimog Mercedes.

This specially designed jeep is for travelling during extreme weather conditions, including floods and heavy snows, and was purchased by Kerry Civil Defence just before Christmas to ensure that the county is self sufficient during such weather events. 

The vehicle was put to good use during Kerry's big chill as it helped ensure the safety of the county's emergency services and many of it's residents. 

Nurses were transferred from the Rose Hotel to University Hospital Kerry to report for duty by the new vehicle which is over 6ft high allowing it to traverse any weather conditions. 

"It came in from Germany and was built to our specifications including a cabin that can carry 16 people. It is great to have this vehicle as we would have to seek the help of the defence forces without it and they were needed in other locations," explains Tom Brosnan of Kerry Civil Defence. 

Kerry Civil Defence was called to a number of emergencies during Storm Emma, including the transfer of key workers to Tarbert Power Station to ensure the county had electricity. 

The voluntary organisation also came to the aid of a carer who was concerned about her client - an elderly gentleman in Castleisland who had suffered a stroke recently. 

They called in the fire service jeep in this incident to allow them to gain access to the house, which they did to find him safe and sound at home. 

Public health nurses were also brought to locations around the county to help those in need and dialysis patients were also transferred to UHK by Kerry Civil Defence during the worst of the bad weather. 

"We are all around the county from Rathmore, Gneeveguilla, Annascaul,, Ballydavid, Cordal, Moyvane, Castleisland and Ballybunion," said Tom. 

A team of nine remained on duty at Kerry Civil Defence headquarters in Tralee, for 24 hours to ensure the safety of everyone and thankfully all went well.

 "There is a great community here in Kerry and everyone helped each other. We also have great volunteers with Kerry Civil Defence who are very committed," Tom added.

Kerryman

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