Major Emergency Management

Emergency Planning

The Garda Siochána, the Health Boards and the Local Authorities (including the Fire Service) are the three principle emergency response agencies (PRA’s) in the case of major emergencies. A critical ingredient in ensuring the effective working of this coordinated response is each agency’s own individual plan. These individual plans outline the organisation’s procedures to be implemented in the event of the major emergency plan being activated.

The main emergency services can call on the support of the Army and voluntary organisations such as the Civil Defence, Red Cross etc., if necessary.

The Department of the Environment and Local Government chairs an Inter Departmental Advisory Committee on Major emergencies. The committee provides advice and guidance on emergency management matters for the main emergency response.

What is a Major Emergency?
“Any event which, usually with little or no warning causes or threatens death or injury, serious disruption of essential services or damage to property, the environment or infrastructure beyond the normal capabilities of the principal emergency services in the area in which the event occurs, and requiring the activation of specific additional procedures to ensure effective, co-ordinated response.”

Major Emergencies could be any of the following:
• Fire
• Transport Accidents
• Hazardous Substances
• Severe weather

Major Emergency Plan

The Mayor Emergency Plan is the combined plans of the Local Authority, Health Board and Gardái in the area where the emergency occurs. It sets out the basis for a coordinated response to a major emergency and the different roles and functions to be performed by the various agencies.

Major Emergency Management (M.E.M) replaces the Framework for Co-ordinated Response to Major Emergency (November 1984)

A National Steering Group (NSG) has been established to see implementation. The NSG consists of representatives of the three PRA & parent departments, the department of defence & defence forces. The NSG is chaired & supported by the DoEHLG

Implementation is to happen within a two year time frame

Major emergency plans continue in force for time being. The PRA’s should begin to use the common language and terminology of the new framework


Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email:

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