CDOA Conference – November 2011

November 25, 2011

The Civil Defence Officers Association Annual Training Seminar was held in Killashee house hotel from Tuesday 8th – Thursday 10th of November. The event again proved to be a successful one with both national and international speakers which included:

Mr Sean Mc Carry from Northern Ireland Community Rescue who gave a very in-depth presentation on their Organisation and the work they carry out with the PSNI in searching for missing persons. Mr Mc Carry also extended an invitation to Civil Defence to strengthen cross broader co-operations and to consider becoming a member of ALSAR.

Mr Michael Fitzsimons CDO Meath gave a presentation on Civil Defence titled “Reflecting on the Past, Building for the Future”. Michael gave a very good analysis of the work carried out by Civil Defence during the severe weather and recent flooding and highlighted the value for money that Civil Defence provides to the state, the analysis shows the overall budget for Civil Defence equates to appox €0.03 per head of population. The need for urgent funding for vehicle fleet replacement was also highlighted. 

Mr Hubert Kearns Chairperson of the CCMA gave a presentation entitled “Civil Defence Managerial considerations”. In his presentation he thanked all members of Civil Defence for the efforts of Civil Defence not just in recent flooding and severe weather event but for the work carried out in local communities on a weekly basis across the Country. Mr Kearns highlighted that in the current economic situation it was vital that we maximise and professionalise the use of volunteering to support our communities in times of crisis. He also pointed out that as with all other public bodies Civil Defence will have to make better use of central procurement and shared resources. 

Mr Jerry Duffy Motivational Speaker gave an inspirational presentation on how people can turn their lives around and motivate themselves to achieve personal goals. Mr Duffy when form been 4 stone overweight and a smoker to running 32 marathons in 32 days.

Mr Sean Moore West Midlands Fire Service & ISAR. Mr Moore gave an excellent presentation on the UK International Search & Rescue Team. The presentation included a detailed look at the structures and deployment procedures of ISAR. Included was a graphic look at some of the over seas missions the UK ISAR team were involved in, which included Iran, Christchurch and Japan. This highlighted some of the difficulties that arise in large scale disaster. Mr Moore gave a detailed account of their work on a building in Christchurch in which they recovered thirteen bodies. 

Sergeant Tim Burke gave a presentation on behalf of the Garda Siochana and highlighted the assistance of Civil Defence to the Gardai in organising the many festival and events.

Mr Les Brown Chairperson Irish Cave Rescue Organisation (ICRO)
Mr Brown gave a very interesting presentation on the structures and work of ICRO which is a very specialised service and with caving in Ireland becoming more popular as a sport it clear that ICRO will be called upon more and more. Mr Brown also spoke of the assistance Civil Defence has given to ICRO on many occasions and hoped that this relationship can be enhanced in the future.

The Trade show at this years seminar was the biggest in many years with twenty eight companies attending and displaying there goods and services. The CDOA are very grateful to all the traders for there support over the years and hope years. A special thank you to Arqiva for again sponsoring the golf outing which took place in Craddocktown Golf club.

A presentation was also made to Mr Greg Flanagan former CDO in Louth following his move form CDO to Emergency planning Officer. 

The Civil Defence Officers Association would like to thank Ms Patricia McNeela Ward CDO and the Volunteers in Kildare for hosting the Seminar.