Elite army unit not allowed use flashing blue lights or sirens

The elite Army Ranger wing are not allowed to use flashing blue lights or sirens, even though they would likely be the first unit dispatched to deal with a serious threat to State security.

Elite army unit not allowed use flashing blue lights or sirens

The elite Army Ranger wing (ARW) are not allowed to use flashing blue lights or sirens, even though they would likely be the first unit dispatched to deal with a serious threat to State security.

The only two components of the country's military allowed to have the flashing blue lights and sirens are the Defence Force's ambulances and the military police.

The issue has been highlighted by the health and safety officer for PDForra, the representative association for 6,500 enlisted personnel in the Defence Forces.

Ray McKenna told PDForra's annual conference of the anomaly and how his organisation were trying to get it addressed.

His association fought for many years to get proper emergency driving training introduced in the Defence Forces.

It eventually succeeded in getting an Emergency Services Driving Standard (ESDS) created and the Defence Forces now have qualified ESDS instructors and assessors.

“PDForra are continuing to request that ESDS driver training takes place where identified as necessary. A case has been put forward to the Road Safety Authority and the Department of Transport for permission for Defence Forces vehicles other than ambulances and marked Military Police vehicles, to be allowed drive using blue lights when needed,” Mr McKenna said.

He said units such as the ARW cannot use the flashing bue lights and sirens because they are currently prohibited from doing so under road traffic legislation.

Mr McKenna outlined a number of other concerns about inappropriate health and safety across the Defence Forces.

“While in some areas within the Defence Forces, it can be seen that health and safety is being given the consideration it deserves by improvements that are being made, such as refurbishments, new equipment and H&S policies, other areas have again deteriorated,” Mr McKenna said.

“A lack of funding, and decreasing budgets are no excuse for inadequate facilities for our members and cannot be accepted by PDFORRA under any circumstances as our members have a right to and deserve much better than is being currently offered in some workplaces throughout the Defence Forces,” he added.

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