Date Published : October 24th, 2017 Published By : admin
The Northwest Regional Working Group for Major Emergency Management held an all services conference on Saturday 21st October at the Defence Forces Finner Camp, Co. Donegal.
More than 80 delegates from the Emergency Services took part in an innovative conference showcasing the specialist skills and resources available from within the frontline emergency and the voluntary emergency services sector.
Donegal County Council led the conference through the Northwest Regional Working Group with representatives from Donegal Fire Service; the National Ambulance Service, An Garda Síochána; the Defence Forces; Irish Coast Guard; Civil Defence; Irish Red Cross; RNLI; Blood Bikes Northwest; Community Rescue Services; Irish Cave Rescue Organisation; Search and Rescue Dog Association and Mourne River Search and Rescue.
The aim of the day was to develop and enhance the links that already exist between the Principal Response Agencies and the Voluntary Emergency Services sector and, to create a better awareness of the specialist skills and resources that are available from within the Voluntary Emergency Services sector.
The Conference was opened by Mr. Garry Martin, Director of Emergency Services with Donegal County Council. This was followed by presentations from each of the Voluntary Emergency Services.
County Donegal suffered badly during recent storms and the Local Authority was prominent in their response to the crisis. Speaking following the event Garry Martin said “events such as these are hugely important. They give us an opportunity to strengthen relationships between the Principal Response Agencies and the Voluntary Emergency Services operating within the area of emergency response services and to network, to share information and to highlight the specialist skills and resources that are available and that could be used in an emergency situation”.
Participating organisations displayed some of the specialist vehicles and equipment that are used in their service. The vehicles included a Class B fire engine, ambulances, decontamination units, bomb disposal unit, mobile incident command centres, rapid response vehicles, Al-terrain vehicles, jet skis, motor bikes, 4×4 vehicles and dog handling units.
Other equipment showcased on the day included cave rescue equipment, swift water rescue equipment and small unmanned aircraft (drones). Some live demonstrations were carried also carried out during the day.
The conference was organised under the auspices of the Framework for Major Emergency Management (2006). This is a framework that enables the Principal Response Agencies to prepare for, and make a co-ordinated response to major emergencies resulting from events such as natural disasters, technological and civil incidents etc.
The conference proved to be a success and was well received by all those who took part.
Photos: Donegal County Council