Specialist training for lifesaving crew

Paul McNally instructing the Foyle Search and Rescue Volunteers during the training for the swift water exams.
Paul McNally instructing the Foyle Search and Rescue Volunteers during the training for the swift water exams.

Six Foyle Search and Rescue (FSR) volunteers have undergone specialised training that, for the first time, will allow them to enter the water to carry out a rescue.

FSR’s Craig Smyth, who is among the newly qualified volunteers, says the Swift Water Flood Response training gives FSR a vital new range of skills.

“In essence this training allows the volunteers to go into the water to carry out a rescue, something that previously we didn’t do,” he says.

“Over the years the role of the volunteer has got harder and more complex. This training allows us to keep up with the skills that are required.

“It was a very difficult course but one that will be of great benefit.”

The training, carried out by Rescue 3, is widely regarded as the standard bearer in swift water response training.

After completing the training over the past two weekends, five FSR volunteers have now qualified as swift water flood response technicians, while a sixth FSR volunteer has achieved First Response status.

Craig says ultimately all volunteers will undergo the training - around another 8 will take the three day course in April 2013.

Ahead of Christmas, which he says is always a busy time for the service, Craig thanked the people of the city for their ongoing support.

“As always we are very grateful to the Derry public for their continued support. It is what keeps us going,” he says.

You can get more info online at www.foylesearchandrescue.org or www.facebook.com/foylesearchandrescue