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Trainer Brian Casey with recruits Oisin Kenneally from Ennis and John Gillivan from Crusheen.

New recruits are taking off at Shannon Airport

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This year has gotten off to a flying start at Shannon Airport for the new recruits to the airport’s Police and Fire Service (APFS), who were selected following an exhaustive process which saw the number of applicants being whittled down from more than 150 to just 11.
The new candidates, who commenced their training in January, are currently undergoing an intensive three-month programme which will equip them with the necessary skills to work in the combined role of airport police and fire service personnel. The recruits, hailing from across Clare and Limerick, come from a wide variety of backgrounds and previous industries.
As part of the training programme, the new recruits will be covering a range of topics in Aviation Firefighting and Aviation Security to ensure they are competent to carry out the role as an Airport Police Fire Service member.
Elements of the course will include Emergency Communications and Alerting Facilities, Fire Dynamics, Extinguishing Agents and Firefighting Techniques, Search & Rescue Tactics, Operational Tactics, Airfield Layout and Aircraft Construction, Surveillance and Patrols, and all the while working as a team.
Being put through their paces, the recruits will also undertake breathing apparatus training and intensive ladder drills, which will enable them to work at heights and in areas with high temperatures and toxic atmospheres.
Recruits will also be trained in using Shannon Airport’s state-of-the art High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET) fire tenders which can hold up to 11,500 litres of water. HRET tenders have additional safety benefits for airport fire service personnel as fires can be extinguished from outside of the risk area by operating the HRET from the vehicle cab, allowing the application of water, foam, and dry chemical directly to the seat of the fire. The airport was the first in Ireland to take the delivery of two HRET tenders in 2019.
The group has already developed a strong rapport, with plans to partake in a mountain climb before the end of their training programme in aid of The Shannon Airport Group’s nominated staff charities, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Milford Care Centre.
Pat O’Brien, Chief Officer, Airport Police Fire Service and Security at Shannon Airport said: “We are delighted to have commenced training with eleven new recruits to the service, working closely with them to ensure they reach their full potential through this programme. The candidates come from a wide variety of backgrounds including construction, finance, retail and the Irish Defence Forces. They bring with them unique experiences and skills that will undoubtedly enhance the Airport Police and Fire Service, and indeed, the wider team and airport community.”
The new recruits are expected to complete the training programme in mid-April, at which time they will commence work in the Shannon Airport Police & Fire Service.

Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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