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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019
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Michael D Higgins praises people who are working to provide essential services during storm

A status red snow-ice warning is in place for the entire country.

fire new 1 Source: DubFireBrigade/Twitter

Updated 3.05pm

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has praised emergency services personnel and others who are working despite the national status red snow-ice warning.

Higgins said he wanted to extend his “deepest appreciation to all those who continue working under these conditions, for all our citizens, to keep the roads clear, maintain essential services and provide support to those in need”.

He also paid tribute to “all those, in statutory and voluntary organisations around the country, who are helping and stand ready to assist their fellow citizens”.

Emergency services such as ambulance and fire services are working as normal, supported by organisations such as the Defence Forces, the Civil Defence and the Order of Malta.

Earlier, the National Ambulance Service (NAS) stated that media reports which said ambulance and fire crews would be taken off the road due to the bad weather were “not correct“.

“We are providing an emergency ambulance service as normal. If you require the assistance of the Ambulance Service then please call 112/999,” the NAS said in a statement.

NAS 1 Source: AmbulanceNAS/Twitter

Fire services are operating as well, with crews saying they will be on duty throughout the inclement weather.

More than 120 Defence Forces personnel and 60 4×4 vehicles have been deployed to help emergency services and local authorities deal with the adverse weather conditions.

civil Civil Defence vehicle in Phoenix Park, Dublin Source: Philip McGavin

Gardaí and transport workers, among others, have also been going the extra mile to help people.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1′s Morning Ireland earlier, Damian McCallion, National Director of Emergency Response for the HSE, said he wanted to “correct some misinformation that has been in some of the papers”.

Our ambulance service, provided by the National Ambulance Service and Dublin Fire Brigade in Dublin, will continue to operate through this really difficult period. Clearly they will be constrained.

“They will have to triage calls very carefully, in terms of where they respond to given the time it may take, so we would ask people really to consider the importance of the call when contacting emergency services over the next 36 hours.”

Hospitals

McCallion said hospitals will “offer emergency and critical work today”, and will liaise with employees to make arrangements for essential staff to be in work.

He urged employees to “keep in close contact with your manager” in terms of arranging transport or accommodation where needed.

Health Minister Simon Harris earlier confirmed that HSE staff will not have to make up the hours they take off this week due to the bad weather.

With reporting by Christine Bohan

Read: LIVE: Status Red warning nationwide as Ireland braces for blizzard conditions

Read: HSE staff won’t have to work back emergency leave taken during storm

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