National Emergency Coordination
The Government Task Force on Emergency Planning co-ordinates and oversees the emergency planning activities of all Government departments and public authorities. It examines policy issues, any current risks and ensures that information is shared across government. The Government Task Force is chaired by the Minister for Defence.
The Office of Emergency Planning provides a key support role to the Government Task Force. The OEP is responsible to the Minister for Defence for the co-ordination and oversight of emergency planning.
Most emergency situations are responded to and managed by the Principal Response Agencies: an Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive and the relevant local authority. Where a major emergency is declared a Lead Government Department is assigned responsibility to lead the national level response.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport are designated Lead Government Department on a number of major emergencies. The primary role of the Lead Government Department in a national emergency is to ensure the coordination of effort across all departments and agencies that have a role to play.
More information on national emergency management structures and policies can be found on the Office of Emergency Planning website.
A Framework for Major Emergency Management
A Framework for Major Emergency Management was established in 2006 and sets out common arrangements and structures for front line public sector emergency management in Ireland. Such emergencies may result from events such as fires, transport accidents, hazardous substances incidents and severe weather. The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport sit on the National Steering Group, who oversee the implementation and development of the Framework. The website www.mem.ie provides further information on the Framework.
A number of national protocol documents are available on the MEM website. These include protocols for a response to flood emergencies, radiological/nuclear emergencies, marine and rail related emergencies.