Volunteering for Kilkenny Civil Defence was Life Changing for Brendan Coady

21 July 2021

News article in the Kilkenny People today on Brendan Coady, volunteer with Kilkenny Civil Defence:


When Brendan Coady signed up to volunteer with the Civil Defence over 10 years ago little did he realise the life-changing impact that simple action would have on him.

“I joined the Kilkenny Civil Defence in 2010,” he said. “At the time I was working in financial services and hand some time on my hands so I thought I would join and learn some new skills.”

When he signed up Brendan had no first aid training, was nervous of heights and was an average swimmer.
Fast forward just over a decade and Brendan is now a trained Swift Water Rescue Technician and is trained to go in and save people from the water and to evacuate people from their homes.

“I did all the various medical course and can operate the boats which are used by the Civil Defence in flooding and when searching for missing persons.

“Being involved in the Civil Defence has been quite the adventure and I have learned so much. I have learned new skills and it has given me a new perspective on life. There is great pride in wearing the uniform and volunteering with the Civil Defence has helped my confidence grow and I have made lifelong friends along the way,” he added.

Brendan’s positive experience volunteering with the Civil Defence was the catalyst that made him re-evaluate his life choices and leave his job in the financial services and go back to study to be a paramedic. In 2018 Brendan qualified as a paramedic and continues to volunteer with the Civil Defence.

“I am a medical instructor now and I am passing on my knowledge and experience,” he said.
It is onwards and upwards for Brendan who is now training to be an advanced paramedic and he cites his experience with the Civil Defence as giving him the motivation and inspiration to change career path.
“Every minute I have spent with the Civil Defence has been positive and I would encourage anyone who thinks that they might be interested to sign up and volunteer,” he said.

Katherine Peacock of Kilkenny Civil Defence said that everyone involved in the organisation are very proud of Brendan’s recent achievements, having been accepted to study to become an Advanced Paramedic with the National Ambulance Service scoring number 1 on the panel in the country.

“We wish him every success in his endeavours and are delighted that he wants to continue his involvement with Civil Defence,” she said.

Meanwhile Kilkenny Civil Defence is currently recruiting for new volunteers with an interest in community support in all areas of response

Typical Duties of Civil Defence include First Aid and safety boat community duties at point to point races, field days, road races, cycle races, the Nore Swim, adventure races charity events and boat races.
Kilkenny Civil Defence also provide an emergency response to river rescue/recovery, land search, flood response, swift water rescue and medical emergencies.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the Civil Defence volunteers did trojan work in the community including providing transport for people to attend medical appointments, the packing and delivery of care boxes, daily administerative duties at the vaccine centre and the packing of test kits.