This year’s JSAR games held in Ballybunion over this weekend were won by Valentia Region. The team consisted of three members form Killaloe unit Damian Quigley, Jason Carey, David Johnson and one from Sevenheads Co Cork. Gerry Wilson
This is the second win for valentia in a row and Damian Quigley from Killaloe Unit was also part of that Team.
The 3 Search & Rescue regions of Ireland (Valentia, Malin and Howth) and Her Majesty’s Coast Guard in Northern Ireland, meet once a year to participate in the fourth Joint Search and Rescue Events,
The event aims to increase the professionalism of all participants and to enhance co-operation between both Services through friendly competition. The idea started from observing the American and Canadian Coastguard doing the same.
The events consist of twelve teams, from Northern Ireland, Dublin, Malin and Valentia Coast Guard divisions.
Each of the four-person teams are either competing on behalf of their division, or are part of an inter-divisional (North-South) team, trying to secure one of the four awards available, the Canada Cup, the Captain Kirwin Cup, the JSAR Shield (all team awards) and the award for best leadership given to an individual who has excelled.
Teams will be faced with a range of emergency situations which they encounter throughout their coastguarding careers.
These competitions tests the skills they use in their emergency service roles. These will include leadership; search planning; chart work; communications; compass work; and rope work.
The JSAR Events weekend provides a great opportunity to meet units from all over the island, who share many of the same perils, joys and rewards. Before the JSAR Events, they may have only met each other when on a call-out, and even then, that would be rare. The JSAR weekend is a lot of fun, and a great chance to meet other units. It’s also a great chance to horse trade for some memorabilia.
Many of the units from all over Ireland have different areas of expertise, and finding a common ground for reasonable competition is a difficult task for the organizers of the challenges. For example, not all units carry out climbing rescue, and others may not provide sea rescue. So it would not be a level playing field to come up with a challenge that involves a good skill base in these areas.