Emergency crews praised for 'incredible efforts' during blizzard conditions

Medical staff, fire crews, Defence Force members, gardaí and other groups have all continued responding in 'unprecedented' weather

Emergency crews praised for 'incredible efforts' during blizzard conditions

Photo: Eamonn Farrell / RollingNews.ie

Emergency services around the country have been praised for their work during some of the most severe weather Ireland has seen in decades. 

Most of the country effectively shut down on Thursday, amid blizzard conditions and heavy snowfalls.

In hospitals, outpatient appointments have been widely cancelled, but emergency departments remain in operation.

Medical staff stayed overnight in some hospitals to ensure services could continue.

Pictures from the Mater and Tallaght show bedding laid out on the ground so medics could continue tending to patients.

One hospital cleaner, who was making her way to work in Dublin through the snow early this morning, explained: "The nursing doctors are so good looking after the babies. They need someone to clean up after them - to make sure the bins are empty, the floors are clean, and make sure their areas [and facilities] are clean.

"We all have to give a little dig in," she added.

Health Minister Simon Harris, meanwhile, said members of the National Ambulance Service dealt with more than 1,000 calls yesterday, with help from local authorities & Defence Force personnel.

Minister Harris said: "Conditions deteriorated significantly which made their job so much harder but incredible efforts undertaken."

Fire crews around the country have also continued working throughout the severe weather, dealing with issues ranging from fire alarms going after power outages to roof collapses.

Last night, the Defence Forces said 250 personnel and 85 vehicles had been deployed over the course of 36 hours - with hundreds more supporting from barracks.

In a statement last night, defence officials said personnel were focusing on assisting the HSE to ensure key staff could get to hospitals and to house-bound patients.

Gardaí around the country also remained on the roads, despite treacherous conditions in many areas.

Other groups such as the Civil Defence, the Irish Red Cross and many other local groups have also been out responding to emergencies: