Limerick City Civil Defence has undergone some changes in their Search & Rescue Unit during the last year in order to adapt to the continuous needs of the community. Early last year saw the successful completion of Level 2 Powerboat Instructors courses. “Certifying our own Instructors was the most cost effective way to train new members and keeping our existing coxswains upskilled while giving us much needed flexibility” said Cecilia O’Flaherty, Civil Defence Officer. “Members are now undergoing training as Level 2 Coxswains and boat crew”. “Each search teaches us something new as a group and we are constantly updating our training” continues Cecilia “there is always ways to improve and it’s what we continuously strive to do”. Water Awareness and swift water rescue technician training is scheduled for 2013. Michael Sheehan – the Unit Search Manager advises that “After our involvement in a recent search, we resurrected our kayaking unit and 7 volunteers have successfully completed their Level 2 certification with the aid of Limerick Kayaking Club”. “It is envisaged that 2-3 of these volunteers will go on to successfully complete Level 3 certification.” Michael is about to start training as a Level 2 Kayaking Instructor. The unit now has the ability to search land, water, marshy and difficult to search areas with the combination of boat and kayaking skills and the new addition of a 10 man survival raft. All volunteers also avail of an immunisation programme, which is ongoing all year round. Limerick City Civil Defence Search & Rescue Unit is approaching 20 years on the water with its ethos of continuous improvement in training while assisting the Community”. For further info contact Cecilia at [email protected] or call 061 316107.