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Minister highlights contribution of Civil Defence volunteers

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Civil Defence Helicopter

At the end of another busy 12 months for the Isle of Man Civil Defence Corps, Home Affairs Minister Bill Malarkey MHK has highlighted the organisation’s vital role in keeping people safe.

Trained volunteers provided more than 5,300 hours of service during 2015-16 in response to emergency incidents and the support of many high-profile sporting and community events.

The organisation continues to provide additional resilience in a range of situations, working alongside frontline agencies including the Isle of Man Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance and Coastguard.

The period in question featured the wettest winter in the Isle of Man since records began. Volunteers assisted the emergency response to the severe weather in December 2015, rescuing people from rising flood water and helping the Department of Infrastructure to distribute thousands of sandbags to protect homes and businesses.

During the past 12 months, the Civil Defence Corps has also taken part in searches for vulnerable missing persons, worked to preserve a unique item of nautical heritage and contributed to the safe and successful running of local events, as well as enhancing the knowledge and skills of its membership through regular training sessions.

Minister Malarkey said:

‘The Department of Home Affairs is committed to maintaining community safety and looking after vulnerable people in their hour of need. It should be a great source of public reassurance that the Island is served not only by first-class emergency services, but also by a team of capable and dedicated volunteers.’

He added:

‘The Civil Defence Corps is a shining example of the Isle of Man’s caring nature where people are prepared to sacrifice their own free time to give something back to the local community.’

In addition to providing first aid and logistics cover for the Parish Walk and End2End Walk, volunteers assisted Manx National Heritage’s efforts to protect the Peggy, the oldest surviving example of a British schooner. The Civil Defence Corps was also represented at a number of major public parades, including Tynwald Day and World War One centenary commemorations.

Ian Young, Emergency Planning Officer at the Department of Home Affairs, said:

‘Volunteers put in about 15% more hours over the last 12 months than in previous years, often working in extremely challenging conditions. The Isle of Man is extremely fortunate that in a major incident the Civil Defence Corps can provide up to 45 trained individuals within one hour to support the emergency services.’

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