Kildare Town CFR goes Live with National Ambulance Service

A new Community First Responders scheme is going live with the National Ambulance Service at 8pm this evening.

Kildare Town Community First Responders (Kildare CFR) have been working hard since last September with fundraising and training to establish the new CFR group which is a voluntary based scheme.  

Volunteer’s from the local area in Kildare Town have established the new unit to provide this vital service in Kildare town and areas within a 5km radius. There are currently twenty members of the group in total, fourteen of which will go live on the national NAS/CFR system tonight.

KildareTown CFR Photo

Community First Responders are a national group and Kildare’s group will be one branch of that big tree whose members are the first responders in the event of Heart Attack, Cardiac Arrest, stroke and breathing difficulties. CFR’s provide emergency medical care for those types of incidents while waiting for the arrival of an ambulance.

CFR’s provide early intervention, medical assistance and reassurance for the patient and their families during a medical emergency.

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Photo: (Courtesy Kildare Town CFR)

Community First Responders are linked to the National Ambulance Service (NAS). When an emergency call is made, in addition to an ambulance crew being dispatched, the NAS Emergency Operations Control Centre in Tallaght or in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal will also alert the local CFR group to attend while the ambulance response is en route.

Training has been taking place over the past few weeks and months This week, the Kildare Town CFR were training the local Round Towers GFC Minor Team how to use a defib.

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Photo: Round Towers Minor Team being training. Photo: (Courtesy Kildare Town CFR)

Public Access Defibrillator

The Kildare Town CFR group have been successful in supplying Kildare Town with its first Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) which is located beside the Bank of Ireland ATM machine at the Square in Kildare Town.

This unit can be accessed by the public and it can be used by following the instructions on the secured unit which is also monitored by CCTV. The Kildare CFR group are also looking to expand the number of P.A.D’s in the town over time. Kildare CFR are currently looking for locations for two additional defibs to be installed.

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Photo: Kildare Town PAD which is monitored by CCTV at Bank of Ireland, Kildare Town
Pic: (Courtesy Kildare Town CFR)

For anyone looking for more information about the newly established Kildare CFR, check out their Facebook page at KildareCFR or on Twitter @KildareTownCFR 


New Executive Director role appointed to An Garda Síochána

The Policing Authority has appointed its new Executive Director for Strategy and Transformation in An Garda Síochána.

Mr. David Gilbride was appointed to the post by the Policing Authority following a recruitment campaign conducted by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of the Top-Level Appointments Committee. Mr Gilbride took up his post in mid-July 2017.

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Pic: (Policing Authority meeting with An Garda Síochána on 29 June ’17)

The Executive Director for Strategy and Transformation is a new civilian position in An Garda Síochána introduced as part of the organisation’s Modernisation and Renewal Programme. The office is a member of the Garda Senior Leadership Team.

David has held senior positions in the Department of Justice and Equality where he has worked across a range of Government policies including: Human Rights; Prison Regimes; Prisons Human Resources; Prisons Industrial Relations and Transformation; Human Trafficking, and Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.  He also worked in the Department of Finance where he held responsibilities in relation to the management of Health Expenditure.

David holds a degree in History from Trinity College Dublin, a Masters in Public Management (Criminal Justice Administration) from the Institute of Public Administration, a Masters in Governance from Queens University Belfast, and is a qualified Barrister.

He has also been a member of the Legal Aid Board.

Disagreement between two paramedics leaves one stranded 100kms from base

Enquiries are continuing in the National Ambulance Service after it was alleged that an ambulance paramedic was left stranded at a service station in County Laois following a ‘disagreement’ with a colleague who drove off and left him 100 kms from his base in County Tipperary.

Report: Pat Flynn

It has emerged that an alleged dispute between two paramedics took place last Saturday night as two National Ambulance Service paramedics were returning to their Clonmel base after completing patient transfer call in Dublin.

 In a report by Pat Flynn in the Irish Examiner, it’s alleged the paramedic had expressed concern about his partner’s driving and asked them repeatedly to slow down.

The driving paramedic is reported to have pulled off the motorway and into a filling station in Portlaoise Co Laois and dropped their colleague off before driving away again.

After staff at the ambulance control centre were notified, an ambulance was dispatched from Roscrea in Tipperary to collect the stranded paramedic. As a result, North Tipperary was left with depleted emergency ambulance cover for several hours while, at the same time, the county’s rapid response unit was also off the road.

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National Ambulance Service vehicles Photo: (Courtesy Pat Flynn)

The Roscrea crew then transported the paramedic 50kms from Portlaoise to Urlingford on the Tipperary/Kilkenny border. Another ambulance service member, not believed to have been on duty at the time, collected the paramedic in Urlingford and drove him to Clonmel a further 60kms away.

The HSE has not answered specific questions in relation to the matter including whether an investigation is underway; whether a formal complaint has been made about the incident or whether the staff members involved are still on duty.

A spokesperson said however: “The National Ambulance Service can confirm that on Saturday 22nd July last, a disagreement arose between two NAS Staff, at the end of their shift. Local NAS management are working with the staff to resolve the issue.”

Civil Defence Commander receives ‘Local Hero’ award

The difference in being a volunteer is your wife, your partner or your family, they are the people who allow you to do these things, and the whole secret of being a volunteer is to make up for that disappointment.

Kildare County Council’s Municipal District in Athy recognised four of its ‘Local Heroes’ at a special ceremony on Thursday night last at the Clanard Court Hotel in Athy, Co. Kildare. 

The Mayor of Kildare, Cllr Martin Miley (Junior) officiated at the awards and Cathaoirleach Aoife Breslin presented each awardee with a specially commissioned piece.

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Mayor of Kildare, Cllr Martin Miley Jnr. Photo: (Tony Keane for Kildare Civil Defence)

One of the recipients of this worthy award was Civil Defence Commander Jim Byrne. Other recipients of a ‘Local Hero’ award was Jessica Harrington, Sr. Rosarri and Labour TD Jack Wall.

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Local Heroe’s: L-R: Cmdr Jim Byrne, Jessica Harrington, Sr. Rosarri and Labour TD Jack Wall
Photo: (Tony Keane for Kildare Civil Defence)

Jim (Jimmy) Byrne joined Kildare Civil Defence on 12th October 1996. As a volunteer with a national organisation which is the second line of support and defence to the frontline services, and who assist at major incidents and serious accidents, and are a vital support to the community in times of crises, Jimmy always got great value from his role in the Civil Defence and gave back to it, even more, while assisting at many duties of various levels and disciplines, right across county Kildare and within the region.

Jimmy was appointed Commander of the South Kildare unit of the Civil Defence on 23rd March 2009.  

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Main Photo: (Declan Keogh / Emergency Times) Inset: (Tony Keane for Kildare Civil Defence)

The Athy unit of Kildare Civil Defence was a Boat based unit primarily and grew strong through the years. The River Barrow and the Grand Canal are two waterways which run through this heritage south Kildare town.

Within Athy’s operational area, the river, stretching from Monasterevin through Athy and onto Carlow, and the canal which flows from Vicarstown in Laois to Maganey at the three counties of Kildare, Carlow and Laois,  provide Jim Byrne and his team in the civil defence with a long and wide route for training and exercises, but along these water also came many tragedies over the years which required the civil defence to search for long hours, over many days to recover the bodies of unfortunate souls.

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Civil Defence training at Ardreigh Loch, Athy. Photo: (Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

A trained Coxswaine, Jim is also a member of the Welfare Unit and is a Drill Instructor.

In recognition of his work, Jimmy was invited to march in the 1916 commemorations in Dublin last year, along with 110 other volunteers from Civil Defence branches from around Ireland. Only recently, Jimmy received a medal from the Minister for Defence for his role in the 1916 Commemorations.

Speaking at the ‘Local Heroes’ ceremony, Aoife Breslin, Cathaoirleach of Athy Municipal District council described the work he does with the Civil Defence and other groups as wonderful and tremendous. ‘On a cold winters night, during severe weather and heavy flooding, Jimmy and his colleagues are out in the community making sure we can still get around safely and looking after the old and frail. They make sure homes have sandbags, people can get in and out of their homes or businesses and, much to their disappointment, students can get to their school in heavy snow. The Civil Defence are also active in so many other areas within their community.’

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Civil Defence volunteer Scott Browne and Cmdr Jim Byrne during the floods on Kildare road, Athy in November 2009
File Photo: (Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

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Civil Defence volunteer Pamela Hyland and Cmdr Jim Byrne at flooded school, Athy in November 2009
File Photo: (Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

In her address, the Cathaorileach added ‘Outside of his work in Kildare Civil Defence, Jimmy worked in the Batchelors factory in Athy for 42 years. During this time, he served as a SIPTU Shop Steward for 29 years. Jimmy is also involved in numerous organisations, including the Athy Town Promoters group, and is one of the key people behind the highly successful St. Patricks Day parade. He is on the Tidy Towns committee, Darkness into Light, Kildare County Show, the National Ploughing Championships and the North Barrow Branch for Inland Waterways.’

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Jim Byrne, Tidy Towns volunteer. Pic (Tidy Towns Athy)

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Athy Community Garda Sean O’ Mahoney, Civil Defence Officer Patricia McNeela and Commander Jim Byrne at Athy Community College during ‘Darkness into Light’ 2017
Photo: (Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

‘Not alone can Jimmy find time for all these duties, he is also very active and involved in his own local community of Kilberry, outside Athy working with people to keep the area neat, tidy and safe. The question has to be asked, where does Jimmy get the time for all these activities. I often think that Jimmy can be in two places at the one time, and sometimes it seems like that. Jimmy Byrne is a person who is highly committed and dedicated to the people and communities if the Athy MD area.”

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Cathaoirleach Aoife Breslin presents Commander Jim Byrne with specially commissioned award
Photo: (Tony Keane for Kildare Civil Defence)

Speaking to the audience, Commander Byrne looked back over the years and all the great things which took place in ‘this vibrant town of Athy’.

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Photo: (Tony Keane for Kildare Civil Defence)

‘It’s a great honour for me to receive this award here tonight, especially when you are sharing the stage with three legends; Jack Wall, Sr. Rosarii and Jessica Harrington. I want to thank all my colleagues in the Civil Defence who are here tonight, those from Darkness into Light, the Rowing Club, the O.N.E who we work very closely with, Tri-Athy and the Athy Promoters Group’.

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Darkness into Light group Photo: (Tony Keane for Kildare Civil Defence)

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O.N.E. Group Photo: (Tony Keane for Kildare Civil Defence)

Jim’s family were present on the night and as a surprise to him, his brother John flew in from the UK to attend the ceremony.

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Jim Byrne and his family. Photos: (Tony Keane for Kildare Civil Defence)

In his speech, Jim said the whole secret of being a volunteer was to make up for the disappointment to families. ‘I’d also like to thank my wife and my family. The difference in being a volunteer is your wife and your family, your partner and your family, they’re the people who allow you to do these things, and they are the people that you must disappoint from time to time, because , aside from the searches for missing people, or the emergency call-outs which no one can plan for, other duties almost always crop up around birthdays, communions, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or general family occasions, and the secret of the whole thing of being a volunteer is to make up for that disappointment.’

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Photo: (Tony Keane for Kildare Civil Defence)

Jim Byrne has always had a great passion for what he does in the county and with the groups he networks with. ‘What I do, I love doing and the Civil Defence are the love of my life too, along with all the rest of the people that I work with. They’re like a second family to me. I like what I do, I like helping people, and that’s what I’ve done all my life.

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Kildare Civil Defence Officer Patricia McNeela with Commander Jim Byrne and volunteers.
Photo: (Tony Keane)

‘When I was in SIPTU, I met a great lady and she was the one who led me all the way to being a volunteer, and that was the great Hilda Breslin. I worked very closely with Hilda right down the years’.

Jim concluded his speech with a push for the people of Athy to make their town great again. ‘When I was growing up in Athy many many years ago, Athy was a great vibrant town, and if we all put our shoulder to the wheel, we’d make this town great again.’

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Invited guests at Clanard Court Hotel, Athy. (Photo: Tony Keane)

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GAA teams up with the RNLI for ‘Respect the Water’ campaign

Each year 133 people drown in Ireland. Sporting communities can play a major role in preventing deaths from drowning.

The RNLI and the GAA are joining forces in South Donegal for the charity’s ‘Respect the Water’ campaign, which aims to reduce the number of people who lose their lives through drowning.

The partnership was launched in Croke Park recently on a national level, with a host of RNLI lifeboat volunteers and GAA players and supporters from around the county attending. The RNLI now wants to work with GAA clubs and communities locally, throughout the summer, to provide life-saving information.   

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Photo: RNLI & GAA Campaign: (L-R Michael McMahon (Realt na Mara), Brian McEniff (Chairman Realt Na Mara), Diarmaid McInerney (Aodh Ruadh CLG and Bundoran RNLI Crew), Chris Fox (Bundoran RNLI), Alan Russell (Realt Na Mara Senior team), Philip McGlynn (Treasurer), Oisin Cassidy (Bundoran RNLI) & Gerry Breslin (Club Secretary)
Photo: Courtesy RNLI Bundoran

Launching the partnership in Gaelic Park Bundoran, Chris Fox and Oisin Cassidy from Bundoran RNLI and members of both Realt Na Mara (Bundoran) and Aodh Ruadh (Ballyshannon) GAA are keen to get the campaign going and are looking for clubs and groups who are interested in learning more to get in touch and see how they can get the message out and reach people who may not be aware of the dangers of drowning.

The ‘Respect the Water’ campaign will be supported through the GAA’s Healthy Clubs initiative and the wider club network. Many GAA clubs are based in coastal communities or near inland waters or rivers and their location makes them ideally placed for sharing information and raising awareness of the causes of drowning and how to prevent it.

As well as sharing key safety messages with fans and supporters at events and matches the RNLI are keen to visit clubs and community groups to talk about drowning prevention and how to keep safe and enjoy the water.  The Respect the Water roadshow and speakers can deliver talks and demonstrations for all ages, from youth groups to clubs and at club events.


Commenting on the partnership Shane Smyth of Bundoran RNLI said, ‘Drowning shatters communities and lifeboat crews have seen the devastation it brings families and loved ones. We believe that many of these deaths are preventable and we need to work with other organisations who want to keep their communities safe. Like a lifeboat station, a GAA club is at the heart of community life. Sporting communities can play a major role in preventing deaths by drowning. Through their approach to the sport and their passion they are well placed to be lifesavers.’

Adding their support to the campaign, Brian McEniff, Chair of Realt Na Mara GAA said, ‘‘The RNLI share a lot of the same values of community activity and volunteerism that we have in the GAA. Based in communities with players and supporters of all ages, we have a real opportunity to get an important message out. ‘Respect the Water’ is a perfect fit for us and we look forward to working with the RNLI and hopefully save lives. ’ 

The RNLI will work with the GAA and their volunteers in local communities to promote the campaign and share key safety messages and advice. Anyone looking for more information can email or contact their nearest lifeboat station or club.

The RNLI have advised that there are things that people can do to avoid getting into difficulty or to prepare themselves if something happens and they end up in trouble.  

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Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Station. (Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

Always swim at a lifeguarded beach were possible.
Go to a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
Before going into the sea, consider your ability and the conditions; swimming in the sea is very different to swimming in a pool.
When you enter the water, take time to acclimatise to the temperature.
Have someone watching you from the beach and make sure they are able to call for help.

When you are near open water, keep away from the edge, stick to designated paths and look out for safety signs.
Keep clear of uneven, unstable or slippery ground.
Avoid walking alone or at night, and always carry a means of calling for help.
If you are exploring the coastline, always get local advice on the tide to make sure you don’t get cut off.

Carry a means of calling for help in case you do end up in trouble.
Wear an appropriate flotation device, such as a lifejacket or buoyancy aid – it could save your life.
If you are going out alone, tell someone ashore your plans and what time you expect to be back.

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11-year-old boy becomes first patient air lifted by Air Ambulance Northern Ireland

The official launch of the new Air Ambulance Northern Ireland service is due to take place in early August, and while the crew were out on training flights and communication checks, they were dispatched by Air Traffic Control to a serious incident in County Down.

Report: Declan Keogh / @DeclanTKeogh

An 11-year-old boy was seriously injured following an incident involving a tractor at Castlewellan, Co. Down. Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a call about the incident at around 1.45pm on Saturday 22nd July.

Emergency Medical Dispatcher Michelle Foster dealt with the call and was supported throughout by control room colleagues Susan Cunningham, Martin Campbell, Richard Dundass and Ashleigh Murray.

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Photo: (Air Ambulance Northern Ireland via Twitter @AirAmbulanceNI)

As the call progressed, Rapid Response Paramedic Brian Lynn and A&E Ambulance crew Karen Graham and Paul McDowell were dispatched to the scene.

Ambulance Control contacted HEMS at Maze Long Kesh and asked duty Airdesk Paramedics Phil Hay and Mike Patton if the air ambulance crew could be made available to respond to the incident. In the interests of patient safety, and without hesitation, Pilot Dave O’Toole took to the air with a crew of Dr Darren Monaghan (Clinical Lead) and Paramedic Glenn O’Rorke (Operational Lead).

Photo: (Northern Ireland Ambulance Service via Twitter @NIAS999)

The Air Ambulance crew and arrived at the scene in approximately seven minutes.

The boy whose injuries were described as serious, was airlifted by the new HEMS to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children where he is in a stable condition. The journey took just eight minutes to RBHSC.

The incident was the first callout mission for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland and its crew ahead of its anticipated launch next month.

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Photo: (Air Ambulance Northern Ireland)

HEMS Operational Lead Glenn O’ Rorke said the new service to Northern Ireland will make a huge difference. “Having a full doctor and paramedic team on board it was felt necessary to respond. It is very important to get there as soon as we can for anybody who has any serious injuries. The air ambulance service will ‘make a huge difference’ to patients’ lives.”

“Bringing the doctor and paramedic team to the scene, they can carry out necessary interventions and treatment to stabilise a patient to then transfer on to an appropriate hospital. It will improve their quality of life after injury because we will be there in a very short period of time,” he said.

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Photo: (Northern Ireland Ambulance Service)

In a statement last night, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said “Today is a seminal moment in the history of our pre-hospital care service as the Air Ambulance flew it’s first rescue mission. We are very aware that a young boy is in hospital tonight and we must not lose sight of his situation. Our thoughts and prayers remain with him in the hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery. His chances have been helped greatly by the early expert care provided to him due to the fact that, alongside the ambulance crew which responded by road, the Air Ambulance NI was also tasked to the scene. The HEMS crew have been carrying out training flights, communications checks and other preparatory work ahead of the launch of the service planned for early August”.

NIAS said it is also very thankful for the assistance of the PSNI whose co-operation is always needed when the Air Ambulance NI goes up in terms of the potential to have to close roads etc.

The AANI will operate 12 hours per day, seven days a week during daylight hours and will be based at the Maze/Long Kesh site near Lisburn, while a secondary aircraft will be situated at St Angelo Airport in Enniskillen.

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Pic: AANI Ambulance base at Maze Long Kesh (Air Ambulance Northern Ireland)
Insert illustration: (Emergency Times)

Up to now, Northern Ireland had been without a HEMS and, after years of campaigning by the late Dr John Hinds, the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland service received approval last March. Dr Hinds, a motorsport medic died in 2015.

Campaigners for the service have said it could potentially save between 18 and 50 lives a year.

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100,000 people expected at Bray Air Display

Ireland’s biggest air display festival takes place this weekend in Bray, Co. Wicklow.

More than 100,000 people are expected to travel to the east coast town seafront to see spectacular displays by Irish and international aviation performers. Emergency and voluntary services will be out in force at the two day event.

In its 12th year, the Bray Air Display has developed into Ireland’s biggest air festival over the weekend. The air festival will feature over 40 aircraft with 12 jets, 50 support crew and an army of volunteers.

Bray Air Display Garda Emergency Times
(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

The Bray Air Display kicked off at 12 noon today, Saturday with 13 acts performing today and a further 5 acts tomorrow.

Acts set to perform on Saturday are the Royal Jordanian Falcons, The Catalina, Irish Air Corps, Swedish Air Force, British Spitfire, The Black Knights, The Strikemasters, Norwegian MIG & Vampires, The Fireflies, The Ravens, Irish Coast Guard search and rescue demonstration, Aer Lingus DC-3 and the Irish Parachute Club.

The additional five acts scheduled to fly tomorrow are an F-18 jet, Patrouille Tranchant, The Blades, Irish Historic Flight Foundation, and Aer Lingus A321 passenger aircraft.

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(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

Several bodies and services are all involved in the event management of this event, which is renowned as one of Europe’s best air displays and earlier this year, the event was recognised as the ‘Best Festival/Event’ experience at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards.

The Irish Aviation Authority, Wicklow County Council and An Garda Síochána have key roles in this air festival, which is managed by Bray Summerfest.

The Defence Forces, Irish Air Corps, Wicklow Fire Service, Order of Malta and Wicklow Civil Defence will all play active, operational and promotional roles at the Bray Air Display festival over the weekend.

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File Photo: Bray Air Show 2015 (Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

The Order of Malta will provide first aid cover with first aid posts and ambulances dotted along the seafront. Foot crews will also be patrolling areas throughout the event.

OMAC First Aid Post locations are:

  1. Corner of Quinnsborough road / Strand road (Platform Pizza)
  2. Strand Road (Opposite National Sealife
  3. Strand Road playground
  4. Strand Road (Boathouse Coffee dock)

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File Photo 2015 Bay Air Show: (Pic: Commander Gerry Keogh briefing Wicklow Civil Defence on site)
(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

Wicklow Civil Defence will have crews on the water, on the ground and in the Communications Unit. Wicklow Civil Defence Commander Gerry Keogh delivered two safety and operational briefings earlier this week to volunteers from the Marine and Communications units. Wicklow Civil Defence will also promote and showcase the role of the civil defence and the resources available to Wicklow Civil Defence.

Wicklow Fire Service will be in attendance providing fire prevention and fire safety advice to visitors while also providing fire cover in the event of a major or serious incident occurring.

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(File Photo 2015 Bray Air Display) (Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

The Defence Forces, Irish Air Corps and Irish Naval Service will showcase their artillery and services which are expected to attract huge interest once again this year.

Organising such a large spectacular event in Bray is in itself a mammoth task.  Running and hosting the event on the day brings its own additional challenges from crowd control and management, to the provision of access services.

Speaking ahead of the Bray Air Display, Wicklow County Council’s Chief Executive Bryan Doyle said it is truly fantastic to see such superb and world-renowned acts such as the Red Arrows and the Frecce Tricolori participating. “The attendance of these world-famous acts is testament to how highly regarded Bray Air Display is held in aviation and related circles”.

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(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

“Ensuring adequate catering, parking and other support services are all in place have to be addressed; all the while ensuring that the public’s air display experience is not impacted.  The smooth running of Bray Air Display, the high operational standard, the focus on crowd safety and the maintenance of crowd interest all help us to provide a memorable, safe experience for visitors to Bray on the day”.

Mr. Doyle acknowledged the Irish Aviation Authority’s considerable support in 2017 for Bray Air Display.  “We look forward to continuing with the Bray Air Display for years to come and thank the numerous contributions and endless efforts given to the event, beforehand, on the day and afterwards by Bray Summerfest Volunteers, An Garda Síochána, Wicklow Civil Defence, Wicklow Fire Service, Bray Municipal District staff, Order of Malta and Sé Pardy and his team”.

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Pic: (Wicklow Civil Defence Officer Michael Richardson in the Comms Unit)
Photo: (Wicklow Civil Defence)

The Bray Air Display is managed by Bray Summerfest and one of the key organisers of that is Sé Pardy, a flight director at Bray Air Display. “To really enjoy the event and to ensure a stress-free journey we are encouraging spectators to use public transport and make a day of it by arriving early. There is so much to enjoy as well as the entertainment in the sky there will be plenty of action on the ground with 22 fun fair attractions, 30 specialist food and craft stalls and live music, so there really is something for everyone.’

For further details and traffic restriction updates for the festival, visit

TD says Carlow ambulance base is ‘safe and secure’

Following significant works which were carried out at the ambulance base in Carlow town, a local TD has said the service is now safe and secure.

TD Pat Deering confirmed that works are continuing with the installation of new fitted furniture in locker rooms and kitchen facilities and the last sections are due for redecoration shortly and he said that ambulance staff will now have top class conditions at the base, ensuring they will be able to deliver the highest standard of care to patients.

Deputy Deering said: “I am delighted to confirm that the future of Carlow town’s ambulance base is safe, ensuring locals have priority access to emergency services. The HSE has confirmed to me that it has identified a suitable building locally that will be redeveloped to meet the long-term needs of the service and funding will be put in place through the various phases of the project as and when required”.

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Photo: Carlow Ambulance Base. Pic: (Emergency Times)

Carlow Ambulance service is said to be one of the busiest in the South-Eastern region with fifteen paramedics working from its base at St. Dymphna’s hospital on the Athy road.

Deputy Deering has said he has been campaigning to keep the towns ambulance service in operation. “I was in constant communication with my Fine Gael colleague and Minister of State at the Department of Health Catherine Byrne, highlighting the need for our local ambulance base to remain in operation. This time last year there was a lot of scare-mongering by the opposition that this base would close. The Minister confirmed to be that this issue would be treated as a priority and I am delighted to announce its future is now secure.”

US Fire Chiefs: Keep your drone off our fire zone

Fire Chiefs in the US have issued a plea to fire enthusiasts to stop flying their drones anywhere near active fires or over the fire-ground.

When a drone operating over the fire zone, fire-fighting planes and helicopters are grounded or forced away from the fire as there are risks of a collision in the air.

Fire enthusiasts operate drones over live fire scenes in the hope of capturing some dramatic or spectacular video footage and according to fire chiefs, this practice has already caused many problems for fire-fighting operations in the US.

Tony Mecham, Fire Chief at California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said, ‘Very simply put, if you fly, we cannot fly’.

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Pic: (CBS in the Morning News)

Firefighting operations have been disrupted on four occasions in a week during the ingoing fire at Lightner Creek wildfire in Colorado and at a fire in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

One man who was operating a drone over an active fire was prosecuted in Arizona last week after two felony charges were made against him for ‘endangering air and ground firefighting crews by flying a drone over an active fire scene at the site of the ongoing Lightner Creek wildfire in Colorado, and twice in two weeks at a fire in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Arizona prosecutors last week filed two felony criminal charges against a man accused of ‘endangering air and ground firefighting crews’ by flying a drone over an active wildfire in Prescott National Forest.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, part of the US Bureau of Land Management the number of US firefighting operations that were disturbed by drones so this year risen to 17 so far. Fire Chiefs are warning drone users ‘Keep your drone off our fire zone’.

In 2016, during Utah’s massive Saddle fire, a drone prevented firefighting planes from taking off. According to Utah governor Gary Herbert, if the planes had been able to attack the fire from above, people would not have needed to be evacuated.

Officials in 2015 similarly blamed hobbyist drones for blocking their efforts to battle a California wildfire.

4th floor fire on construction building at London’s Bow Wharf

Twelve fire engines and around 80 firefighters and officers have been called to a fire at a building under construction on Bow Wharf, Wennington Road E3.

The fourth floor and roof of the five storey residential block are alight.

London Fire Emergency Times
Centre Pic: @StephanieJay_UK / Far Right: @dcmd1966

London Fire Brigade was called at 11:10am. Fire crews from Bethnal Green, Homerton, Shadwell, Shoreditch, Whitechapel, Poplar, Millwall and other surrounding fire stations are at the scene. The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

A similar fire occurred in the same area only two weeks ago