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Wexford Civil Defence & Wexford Fire Services Joint Training Exercise – 29th March 2017

31 Mar

Wexford Civil Defence carried out a joint training exercise with Wexford Fire Service on 29th March 2017. The exercise simulated a two vehicle collision on a road late in the evening. Wexford Civil Defence provided the medical assistance, while Wexford Fire Service manged the scene and removed the roof and doors of the vehicles to allow for extraction of the three casualties from the vehicles.

The exercise tool place on a closed piece of road within Wexford Town. Wexford Fire Service responded with three fire tenders, while Civil Defence provided two ambulances, Incident Contol and the drone for over view of the exercise. Wexford Civil Defence were represented by units from Wexford, Gorey and New Ross.

The exercise was of benefit to all, with everyone working together to achieve the objectives of the exercise. We planed plan to hold a further exercise later in the year.



Wexford Civil Defence – Host Regional Competition – 25th March 2017

27 Mar

Curracloe, County Wexford provided an idyllic venue for last Saturday’s Civil Defence Regional competition, hosted by the Civil Defence section of Wexford County Council.  Teams from Carlow, Dublin, Cork South and Waterford joined Wexford’s Civil Defence team in a number of gruelling exercises throughout the day, designed to test each team’s abilities to respond to staged incidents involving multiple casualties.

Elements of Saturday’s competition included foot drill, missing person search, communications and two casualty / first aid scenarios, with team members challenged to manage the accident scene, treat / rescue casualties and triage casualties for transportation.

The missing persons search competition tested the teams search capabilities in the challenging but ideal environment of the Raven forest with two missing casualties to be located.  Teams were required to plan the search, deploy search teams and setup a communications system to manage the search teams.

The final events of the day were fun team challenges consisting of a sack race with 4 people in each sack and the use of three-person skis. These exercises were highly popular with the partaking teams and provided much enjoyment for the many attending spectators – but they were definitely not for the faint-hearted!

Wexford Civil Defence volunteers provided the staff and equipment to run the day’s events, with their hard-working welfare team providing food and refreshments for over 120 people on the day. Food was prepared in Wexford Civil Defence Headquarters in Ardcavan and served on site from the Wexford Civil Defence mobile catering trailer, while the Army provided tents for the registration and food serving.

The Sunny South East lived up to its reputation, with glorious sunshine throughout the day contributing to a very enjoyable occasion for all taking part.

The day’s activities were followed by a prize giving dinner at the Ferrycarrig Hotel. Among those attending were Mr Paul Kehoe TD, Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Councillor Paddy Kavanagh and Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Frank Staples, The Department of Defence was represented by Mr. Stephen Hall while the Civil Defence Branch Training Section was represented by Róisín McGuire, College Principal and a number of staff members.

Carlow Civil Defence proved to be worthy winners in the combined services element of the competition, while Waterford Civil Defence was victorious in the foot drill element. Minister Paul Kehoe presented the prizes to the winning team.

Team A Carlow – Winners – Ferrycarrig Hotel

Minister Kehoe commissions 1916 commemorative medals for Civil Defence

26 Jan

The year just past marked the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. This was a seminal moment in the history of the Irish State. There were many events held across the country to commemorate the centenary.

In honour of the role played by Civil Defence volunteers throughout the country during the year, and the ongoing supports provided to their local communities and the frontline emergency services, Mr. Paul Kehoe TD, Minister with Responsibility for Defence has commissioned a specially designed medal to be presented to members of Civil Defence. The medals will be awarded to all members of Civil Defence who were in active service with Civil Defence during the year between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016.

The Minister said “Civil Defence volunteers give freely of their time to support State agencies and local communities in times of need. The work they do is unpaid but it certainly does not go unnoticed. The awarding of this medal is a small token of appreciation for the level of service provided by the volunteers.”

The Minister went on to say “the work of Civil Defence members benefits society at large, it reaches into every community alleviating the hardship of others such as in times of flooding or in searches for missing persons. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of those who served in Civil Defence throughout 2016.”

Arrangements for the presentation of the medals will be made in due course.

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.