Donegal Civil Defence proved worthy winners in this year’s Regional Civil Defence competition and will now represent the region in the national finals later this year.
Last Saturday’s regional competition which took place in the idyllic Hazelwood House in County Sligo, saw teams from Donegal, Roscommon, Longford, Mayo and Sligo compete in a number of gruelling exercises designed to test each team’s abilities to respond to staged incidents involving multiple casualties.
Denis Gallagher, team leader with Donegal Civil Defence said “this was a fantastic opportunity for members of different units and sections to integrate and be part of a team working through several different scenarios which volunteers could be potentially responding too and we in Donegal are delighted to have come out top on the combined services element of the competition”.
Elements of Saturday’s competition included missing person search, Tetra & GPS communications, setting up a rest centre for displaced persons and casualty / first aid scenario staged at night time hours, 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 Hazelwood House forest with two missing casualties to be located. Teams were required to plan the search, deploy search teams, collect all evidence retrieved and setup a communications system to manage the search teams.
The Rest Centre scenario was based on a flood and mud slide incident were 50 people became displaced; 25 males 15yrs -80yrs, 15 female 13yrs -74yrs, 10 children 2yrs-12yrs. In keeping with the White Paper on Defence, Civil Defence were tasked with looking after these people for 4 days initially, purchasing necessary supplies, preparing food menus for each meal and using the floor plan provided, set up the rest centre to accommodate, a reception area, washing facilities dining facilities and a sleeping area.
Sligo 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.
Weather conditions were kind to us for the duration of the competition, 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 Clarion Hotel. Among those attending were the Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Councillor Hubert Keaney and Mr. Ciarán Hayes, Chief Executive of Sligo County Council. The Department of Defence was represented by Mr. Aidan Dillon while the Civil Defence Branch Training Section was represented by Róisín McGuire, College Principal and a number of staff members.
Donegal Civil Defence proved to be worthy winners in the combined services element of the competition, while Longford Civil Defence was victorious in the welfare element. Ms. Róisín McGuire, College Principal presented the prizes to the winning team. The Donegal Team will now go on to represent the region in the national finals later in the year.
On the night also, Donegal Civil Defence received an award from the European Capital of Volunteering 2017, Sligo for their commitment to volunteering over the years.
Donegal Team; Mr. Denis Gallagher, (Burt)(Team Leader), Ms Joanne McGroary (Donegal Town), Mr. Paidin Doherty, (Clonmany), Mr. Tiarnan Doherty (Carndonagh), Ms. Alice Duffy (Donegal Town), Ms. Kirsten McGarr (Bundoran), Mr. Donal Bonner, (Stranorlar), Ms. John McGeoghegan (Carndonagh), Mr. Paul Dunnion (Ballybofey), Mr Paul Rooney (Newtown), Ms. Aoife McLaughlin (Lecamy), Mr. Conor McCrudden( Glenfin).