Laois fire crew flying to France with World Championship dreams

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois fire crew flying to France with World Championship dreams

The Laois crew heading to France, with Assistant CFO Anthony Tynan, Cathaoirleach Cllr Willie Aird and CBS TY work experience student John Ging.

A team of Laois firemen are the reigning All Ireland rescue champions and now have their sights set on a world title.

The seven strong team, together with Assistant Chief Fire Officer Anthony Tynan will fly out to La Rochelle in France next Wednesday September 11 to compete in the World Rescue Challenge 2019 over four days.

There they will perform repeated 30 minute rescue scenarios to extricate injured people from complex dangerous multiple car pileups. Medics Paul Quail and Bosco Lawlor will also compete in the Medical Trauma category.

The guys have been brushing up on their French because the 'crash victims' will be French. They have also studied Renault cars because 100 new test Renaults are cut up as part of the championships.

The Laois team have an incredible winning streak. At the Rescue Organisation Ireland National RTC & Trauma Challenge 2019, they won Best Overall RTC team, Best Incident Commander and Best Medic titles for the second year running. The Laois Trauma team have won Irish Best Medics for seven out of the last 10 years.  

However it is the first time Laois will head to world champions as overall national Irish champions. Their last trip to the World champions was in 2014 when they came in 8th position worldwide. They will be competing against some 40 teams from all over the world in France, with the trip sponsored by Laois County Council. 

"Even if we finish in the top six, it's a success, with so many teams there," said Paul Quail.

The full team are incident commander Portlaoise station officer James Brown, medics Paul Quail (Portlaoise) and Bosco Lawlor (Abbeyleix), tech members Keith Lewis, Philip Kelly (Portlaoise), Jonathan Whelan (Portarlington) and Mark Dunne.

Cllr Willie Murphy is Laois County Council Cathaoirleach.

"I wish you all the very best of luck and I hope to have a civic reception for you when you get home," he said.

ACFO Anthony Tynan said that since winning the National championships in April, the team have pulled out all the stops practicing scenarios every week in their free time.

"The work and effort they have put in is fantastic. Other teams competing get paid training to do this but these lads do it voluntarily, rain or shine," he said.

James Brown thanked Laois County Council and Cllr Aird for support, as well as Corcoran's Recovery for giving them crashed cars to work on, and Renault for showing them the type of cars that they will be cutting up in France.

"Ultimately this benefits people driving in Laois. On the side of the road some night, the skills are there for them," he said.

The championships will be live streamed on www.wrc2019france.fr