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Civil Defence



What is Civil Defence?


Civil Defence is a volunteer based organisation that supports the front line emergency services in dealing with severe weather, flooding, major acidents, fire fighting and searches for missing people. We also assist the local community with non-emergency community events. The Civil Defence mission statement is “to support the emergency services and to provide community support by promoting, developing and maintaining Civil Defence as an effective volunteer based organisation”.


Donegal Civil Defence currently provides community support to more than 50 community events each year, as well as acting as a multi-skilled second line service to the main emergency services of the Fire Service, Local Authority, An Garda Síochana, Health Service Executive & Irish Coast Guard.


Community Emergency Support


Currently Donegal Civil Defence is pro-active in community emergency support and assists the local community in the following areas: 


  • First Aid
  • Urban and Water based Search and Rescue
  • Auxiliary Fire Fighting
  • Kayaking / Boating Techniques
  • Radio Communications (Civil Defence have their own independent VHF and UHF Network System)
  • Welfare Provision
  • Blizzard Conditions
  • Gorse Fires
  • Flooding
  • Assistance with Searches


Over the last number of years, Donegal Civil Defence has supported the Gardaí, HSE, Fire Service and local communities in search and recovery missions and during severe weather conditions.


Major items of equipment available for training and community response are:


  • 16 Seater Minibuses
  • Rib Inflatable Boats x 2
  • Wheel Drives x 3
  • Kayaks x 14
  • Ambulance x 3
  • Kayak Trailer x 2
  • Search And Rescue Vehicle complete with Stretcher and Winch
  • Fire Tender x 1
  • Incident Control Vehicle x 1
  • Generator x 1


Becoming a Volunteer


The real strength of the Civil Defence is that our members give their time, expertise and experience in a voluntary way.  There are 6,500 volunteers throughout the country and 94 of these volunteers are based with Donegal Civil Defence.


To become a volunteer with Donegal Civil Defence, please contact the Civil Defence Officer.



Training is provided weekly in various centres around the county. Training is delivered in First Aid, Cardiac First Responder, Occupation First Aid and Emergency Responder Levels. All our first aid training is delivered under the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council Program. We also provide weekly training in Urban Search and Rescue, Line Rescue and Auxiliary Fire Fighting.


For further information on training in your area, please contact the Civil Defence Officer.


Public and Community Events

Donegal Civil Defence volunteers provide First Aid cover and Traffic Management at major public events as well as assisting the community and statutory services when required. 


To avail of this assistance for your event, please contact the Civil Defence Officer.


Read the Civil Defence Plan 2023-2025