800 agri contractors ready to battle Storm Emma

Some 800 agricultural contractors right across Ireland are ready to put their shoulders to the wheel to ensure roads are maintained during Storm Emma.

In a letter to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) offered its members’ support to the National Emergency Co-ordination Group for Severe Weather in dealing with projected weather issues that are forecast for this week.

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The letter states that agricultural contractors are “particularly well-equipped to provide sanding, gritting and snow plough services in every county in Ireland”.

It outlined that the FCI maintains an SMS database of 795 contractors who can be contacted at short notice to provide support to emergency services.

Many of these rural-based contractors use the latest technology, including well-maintained 4WD tractors, spreading equipment and snow ploughs – all of which are fitted with high levels of lighting and safety warning devices – to ensure that road conditions are kept safe for all road users.

“They have the skills to provide a unique service in cases of weather-induced emergencies.

“FCI members have in the past provided such services and we extend this offer once again to the National Emergency Co-ordination Group for Severe Weather.

“All of our members are fully insured to provide services on the public roads and have the experience necessary to deal with weather-induced crisis situations, at short notice,” the letter, which is signed by FCI national chairman Richard White, said.

A meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group for Severe Weather is currently underway in Dublin.

FCI members are ready, able and willing to provide such support in times of national emergency, such as the National Emergency Co-ordination Group for Severe Weather is currently planning for, White concluded.