independent

Saturday 30 August 2014

Dealing with disaster

Simon Brouder

Published 30/04/2014 | 05:36

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Member's of the Red Cross being put through their paces as part of the National Red Cross First Aid competition around Tralee. Photo by Eye Focus

TRALEE was transformed into a fake disaster zone over the weekend as the town branch of the Red Cross hosted a national competition for Red Cross volunteers from across the country.

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More than 300 of the organisation's members descended on the county capital to take part in the Irish Red Cross Senior First Aid Competition. The contests comprised of a variety of competitive training exercises which saw them dealing with simulated explosions, building accidents and a variety of mocked up emergency situations.

Individual tests took place on Saturday with team competitions taking place on Sunday along with a mountain biking test which saw volunteers on bikes navigating through traffic as well as obstacle courses and building sites.

Teams were judged on their first aid treatment, psychological care of patients and their safety management of the scene.

Competition was intense all weekend and on Sunday the Dublin Borough Red Cross branch emerged as the overall winners while the Donegal Bike Unit were named as winners of the mountain biking section of the competition.

The contest wasn't the only highlight of what proved to a be very busy weekend for Tralee and Kerry's many Red Cross volunteers.

On Friday morning members and supporters of the Tralee Red Cross gathered at Fels Point Hotel where they were presented with a new, fully equipped ambulance that was donated to the service by Kerry Group.

Then on Friday night Tralee Town Council and Mayor of Tralee Pat Hussey hosted a civic reception at Tralee Town Hall to honour the life saving work of the Red Cross in Tralee and Kerry.

On Saturday night the volunteers gathered at the Fels Point Hotel, which served as a hub for the weekend's events, where they swapped their emergency equipment and uniforms for ballgowns and tuxedos to enjoy a gala dinner and ball.

"Congratulations to everyone who took part, teams and individuals, TLOs, station managers, casualties, couriers, drivers, make up crews, those who gave us props, our two ambulance crews, photographers, the band, the dj and Fels point hotel for a truly remarkable event. The people and traders of Tralee town who allowed us to take over their premises and our sponsors," said a statement from the Tralee Red Cross.

Kerryman

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