Midleton Rugby Club Hosts Training Event for East Cork Emergency Services and Rescue 117

By Alan Sheehan

Captain Mark McDermott accepts a presentation from Con Walsh (President of Midleton Rugby Club) on behalf of the crew of Rescue 117.

Multiple East Cork emergency services along with an air asset for the Irish Coast Guard took part in a multi-agency training event at Midleton Rugby Club last Saturday, 27 May.
Representatives from the National Ambulance Service, East Cork Rapid Response, the Midleton and Cobh branches of Cork County Fire Service, Guileen Coast Guard and Midleton Gardaí were joined by the crew of Rescue 117, a Coast Guard helicopter unit based in Waterford, for a knowledge sharing and training event.
East Cork Rapid Response and crews from the Midleton and Cobh Fire Service were called to respond to an emergency in Midleton but were able to return for 3pm as the Coast Guard helicopter touched down at Midleton Rugby Club.
Con Walsh, the President of Midleton Rugby Club, presented a scarf to Captain Mark McDermott to welcome the crew of Rescue 117 to the town. While Capt McDermott and Mr Walsh discussed their mutual love of rugby, members of the public were permitted to look around the helicopter and take their photos with it.
Rescue 117 then invited members of the emergency services on a guided tour of the aircraft which included an explanation of the equipment and a walkthrough of the crew’s operating procedure for responding to common incidents. Later the groups would complete exercises together to better understand how each service operated.
“It is great that the various services are able to gather like this and share information,” said Neville Murphy, winchman for Rescue 117, “as it means that all involved will be able to better work together on a call. Knowledge sharing is a big benefit to all groups involved.”
Mr Murphy’s sentiments proved prophetic as Rescue 117 was later tasked to a medevac in Bantry which involved the crew working alongside the National Ambulance Service, Bantry Fire Service and Gardaí to evacuate a casualty to Cork University Hospital.