Firefighters are national champs

Two members of Laois Fire Service have together won the title of National Trauma Champions, beating teams from all over Ireland, the UK and Spain.

Two members of Laois Fire Service have together won the title of National Trauma Champions, beating teams from all over Ireland, the UK and Spain.

Sub Officer Joe Harding from Rathdowney, and Fire Fighter Mary Territt from Portlaoise, beat twelve other teams to gain the award at the National Extrication and Trauma Challenge in Ashbourne on March 24 and 25.

To win the award, the duo had to treat injured people in an accident scenario, using their first aid skills.

They will now go forward to represent Ireland in the World Championships in London next October.

It is only the second year that Laois Fire Service have entered the competition.

“It is a major event for us. The teams have been training for the past six months. It’s a major commitment from all the staff, it is all voluntary and in their own time,” said Assistant Chief Fire Officer Anthony Tynan.

A team of five officers from around the county also competed in the Rescue section, and excelled themselves by coming first in one of the emergency scenarios.

Laois County Councillors extended their congratulations to the local fire service on their recent success.

“The fire service won an All-Ireland award in Meath yesterday,” Cathaoirleach John Bonham told last week’s council meeting,

“They had to complete exercises such as scene of accident, first aid.

“It’s great to see two firefighters from the county doing so well.”

Rathdowney Councillor, John King, who is also a member of the fire service and a colleague of Mr Harding’s, extended his congratulations.

“We’re very proud to be associated with Joe and Mary,” he said.