Paul Kehoe T.D., Minister with Responsibility for Defence congratulates Civil Defence Volunteers on the awarding of their certificates in Roscrea

Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe T.D. congratulated Civil Defence volunteer instructors and instructors from the National Ambulance Service and a member of the Defence Forces on the awarding of their certificates at the Civil Defence College in Roscrea on Friday 10th of May. The awards include Missing Person Search Team Leader & Responder, Swiftwater and Flood Responder, First Aid Response, Manual Handling and People Handling Instructors.

Civil Defence volunteer Instructors play a pivotal role in the delivery of training to Civil Defence volunteers nationally. They are a dedicated and skilled group of individuals who volunteer to undertake training to allow them pass on skills and knowledge to their peers. The skills are used on a daily basis by volunteers, while supporting their local communities and the Principal Response Agencies.

The Missing Person Search Instructors are of particular mention, having completed Civil Defences new Missing Persons Search Programme. The programme is the first such course to be developed and accredited in Ireland. Search Instructors prepare volunteers for the important roles of Search Responder and Team Leaders ensuring interoperability with An Garda Síochána when called upon to assist in missing persons incidents.

The Swiftwater and Flood Instructors will complement the existing group of instructors throughout the country. The skills and knowledge they will impart will form part of the service volunteers provide, during severe weather events, missing person searches near water and other valuable services provided by Civil Defence volunteers.

The First Aid Response Instructors and the Manual and People Handling Instructors will enhance the current cadre of instructors to provide first aid and health and safety training for volunteers.

In advance of the ceremony in the Civil Defence College Roscrea, the Minister stated; “Civil Defence continues to evolve to meet the needs of Primary Response Agencies and the community within which it operates. Its responsiveness and adaptability reflects the commitment of volunteers to give so generously of their time, commitment and expertise.

This group of volunteers will assist Civil Defence in fulfilling its role as set out in the 2015 Government White Paper on Defence; that is to support the Principal Response Agencies. In particular, when a Primary Response Agency requests support from Civil Defence especially in the case of a missing person, or severe weather event.

The Department of Defence would like to thank Civil Defence Officers and Assistant Civil Defence Officers for their leadership in supporting and facilitating volunteers who advance to instructor status.

The Minister concluded by once again congratulating Civil Defence volunteers on successfully completing their respective instructor training programme and thanked them personally and on behalf of the Government for their commitment and dedication in serving their communities.