Cork West Annual Training Camp – Bere Island

27 October 2023

On the weekend of the 13th -15th October 2023, 30 volunteers attended the Cork West Annual Training Camp on Bere Island.

The main objectives of the Training Camp were:

  1. Team Building
  2. Communication Skills
  3. Search and Rescue Skills
  4. Search and Rescue Exercise.


On Saturday morning volunteers participated in several team challenges.

The aim of these challenges was to get the teams to work together and to communicate well.

Volunteers thoroughly enjoyed these challenges, and the results were excellent.

All challenges were repeated later in the day, and improvement in team spirit and team communication skills were evident. From the instructors’ point of view, it was excellent to see the various characters/competencies within the teams.


On Saturday afternoon several practical workshops were held, where the following skills were focused on:

  1. Search Skills and Techniques
  2. Rescue Skills and Techniques
  3. Map Reading


On Saturday evening, all training culminated with a realistic Search and Rescue Exercise.

All relevant Cork West Assets were utilised in this exercise, including:

  1. Cork West Communications and Incident Control Vehicle
  2. Cork West John Deere All-Terrain Vehicle
  3. Cork West M30T DJI Drone
  4. Cork West Ambulance
  5. Cork West 4×4 vehicles
  • Cork West volunteers operated the Exercise Incident Control.
  • Three volunteer search teams were deployed.
  • One scenario involved a live casualty who had to be treated and rescued.
  • A second scenario involved the recovery of a body (dummy)

The exercise was controlled and directed by two new Cork West Search Instructors, who performed excellently and produced a very real and worthwhile training.