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Wexford Civil Defence – Level 2 Net Operators – Radio Course

25 Jan

This training will familiarise students with the basic procedures, the most common procedure words and hands on use of the U.H.F Hand portable and Mobile radios and for the efficient use of these radios in simple one to one use. To train operators to competently operate as part of a Radio Net (open net).

Volunteers from Wexford , New Ross and Gorey units were represented on the course. Radio communications is a key tool for covering events, searches and civic duties.

CISM sercvice for Civil Defence Members – Name Change

18 Jan

Carecall, which provides a free confidential counselling service for Civil Defence members, has been rebranded and is now known as Inspire

CISM stands for ‘critical incident stress management’. Civil Defence volunteers may be exposed to difficult scenes such as treating badly injured people. Even for experienced emergency personnel, exposure to such abnormal scenes can give rise to ‘traumatic stress’. Civil Defence has a critical incident stress management system in place to help our volunteers cope with any difficulties arising from their involvement in Civil Defence.

There are four elements to our system.

  1. All volunteers are required to attend a Critical Incident Awareness presentation.
  2. Civil Defence officers and some volunteers have received 4 days training on CISM. These individuals act as peer-to-peer supports for our volunteers.
  3. After dealing with a distressing incident the Civil Defence Officer or senior volunteer will gather the volunteers away from the scene to allow volunteers express their feelings about the incident. If the incident is very serious professional counsellors will be brought to meet the volunteers.
  4. All Civil Defence volunteers can avail of a free, professional counselling service to help deal with any issues relating to their Civil Defence activities. Inspire (formerly known as Carecall) is available 24/7, 365 days a year on 1800 409 673.

Wexford Civil Defence – Inter Agency Training Day – CDO Retirement

02 Oct


On Saturday last, the 24th September, Wexford Civil Defence hosted an inter agency training day at Wexford County Council buildings in Carricklawn with over 90 members of various agencies attending. All Primary Response agencies – (Fire Service, Gardaí, Coast Guard and Ambulance Service) and Voluntary Services including Civil Defence, Order of Malta, Red Cross, Wexford MarineWatch and Equine SAR (Search and Rescue) participated on the day.

Following registration at 10.30am, the morning’s activities consisted of presentations ranging from Working with Horses to treatments required for Diving Accidents. Following a talk by Eugene Brennan of the Equine SAR, David O’Grady (Order of Malta) discussed treatment of injuries sustained as a result from a fall from a horse. Deirdre Bowers of the HSE gave an interesting presentation on Diabetes while Róisin McGuire from the Civil Defence College talked about Working with Divers – Decompressing Illness and Treatments.

After lunch, Cllr. George Lawor discussed the strategy, experience and success of Wexford MarineWatch.

The afternoon was taken up with practical demonstrations on Spinal Immobilisation, Extrication from Vehicles and from the Equine Search and Rescue team. Liam Buckley from Wexford Civil Defence demonstrated the searching capabilities and uses of Drones.

Speaking after the event, Acting Civil Defence Officer Peter O’Connor said, “The idea of today was to bring all the emergency services together both statutory and voluntary for a meet and greet, to get know each other, to share ideas and past experiences, to see if there are areas where we can help each other out in the future both in a training and resource availability.” Peter thanked all the organisations and speakers for attending and contributing to the day.

The day’s activities concluded with a dinner held in the Riverbank Hotel attended by Senior officers from the Civil Defence. A presentation was made to Ms. Gabrielle Willis, marking her retirement as Civil Defence Officer after 29 years service.cdos1

Gabrielle enlisted in Wexford Civil Defence on the 15th November 1976, in 1980 achieved the rank of Instructor in Welfare and Casualty. Gabrielle was appointed as acting Civil Defence Officer on the 8th March 1986 following the retirement of Mr. Tom O’Connor, Civil Defence Officer, was appointed as fulltime Civil Defence Officer on the 2nd March 1987.

During her tenure, Gabrielle witnessed considerable change and progress for the service and made a huge contribution to Civil Defence both locally and at national level having served two terms on the National Civil Defence Board. Gabrielle was always keen to ensure all services, and equipment were improved and the Volunteers received the best possible training and opportunities in return for their time. With Gabrielle’s help and persuasion Wexford has punched well above our weight in achieving national standards such as

  • Emergency Medical Technician, (27 to date in Wexford)
  • Welfare HACCP
  • Swift water Responders & Technicians (flood and severe weather)
  • Radio Communications – Tetra
  • Drones – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) provide regional cover

Uniform and safety equipment were always a key concern to Gabrielle to ensure everyone was equipped to carry out our work.

Gabrielle was presented with a new laptop and a bouquet by Liam Healy and Phil O’Mahoney on behalf of all her colleagues in recognition of her years for service.

Civil Defence pilot drones for searches

25 Jul





Wexford Civil Defence has expanded its searching capability with the addition of a drone or (SUA Small Unmanned Aircraft). The drones’ main function will be to help with searches for missing persons. We currently have two Volunteers trained as pilot / operators. The drone carries a camera and relays the information back to the ground operators. All screens display the flight information for the craft which includes altitude, vertical and horizontal velocity, distance and direction from the operator, number of GPS satellites visible, mode of operation and also the battery voltage level. All the flight data is superimposed on the video imagery coming from the camera, mounted on the craft.

All operators of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems must be licensed by the Irish Aviation Authority. This license consists of two parts. One is a Permission to Operate a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System and the second is an Aerial Work Permission.  In order to gain the necessary permissions, potential operators must first complete an Aeronautical Ground School Course followed by a flight test conducted by an Approved Testerr from the Irish Aviation Authority.

Bray Air Show – 2016

25 Jul

Wexford Civil Defence boat crews were tasked by Wicklow Civil Defence to help with the Bray Air Show. All boats launched in Greystones and preceded to Brayhead for a briefing on the event and allocate tasks to each boat crew. Boat crews provided safety boat cover and kept the fly zone clear of all boats. Wicklow and Wexford boats worked together patrolling the area and directing leisure craft as needed.

During the two days we also had a chance to board the LE Ciara to have a tour the ship and meet the officers and crew, a big thanks for their hospitality and use of their facilities.

Thanks to Wicklow Civil Defence for the invite and looking after our crews for the two days.

Photos courtesy of Wicklow Civil Defence.    ba5

Wexford Civil Defence – Bannow Rathangan Agricultural Show

18 Jul

Wexford Civil Defence volunteers from New Ross, Wexford and Gorey units provided Medical cover for the 67th Bannow & Rathangan Agricultural Show on Thursday 14th July 2016, which was attended by approx 15,000 visitors. This is County Wexfords biggest Agricultural Shows held ever year and one of the busiest events that Wexford Civil Defence covers. Ambulance and first aid cover was provided by 21 volunteers from 8am – 8pm. Due to the size of show area the following vehicles were utilised


3 x       Road Ambulance

1 x       4×4 Ambulance

1 x       4×4 Jeep

67th Bannow & Rathangan Show - 14th July 2016

67th Bannow & Rathangan Show – 14th July 2016

67th Bannow & Rathangan Show - 14th July 2016

67th Bannow & Rathangan Show – 14th July 2016