Sports stars in the driving seat for emergency services showcase

Sports stars Ronan O’Gara and Graham Canty will be caught up in the drama this weekend as one of the largest ever emergency services showcases in Ireland is staged.

An armed naval team will board a suspected drug-running boat, firefighters will call for back-up to fight a quay-side inferno, and well-known sports and media personalities will be cut from the wrecks of two crashed cars during the simulated events on Cork’s Kennedy Quay on Saturday.

The land, water, and airborne exercises will be staged as part of the weekend-long Statutory and Voluntary Emergency Services Exhibition, which will be based at City Hall.

Supt Con Cadogan, one of the main organisers, encouraged people to line the quay-sides on Saturday to watch the demonstrations.

They will include an Air Corps helicopter rescue from the Crosshaven lifeboat, a search by the Irish Search Dogs Association for an escaped “drug smuggler”, and a dramatic pipe-welding display by Bord Gáis, the main sponsors of the event.

Staff from participating agencies, including Civil Defence, the Irish Red Cross, Irish Search Dogs, the RNLI, St John’s Ambulance, The Order of Malta, Cork Area Water Safety, and the Scouts, visited transition year students at Cork schools to promote the event.

They are also promoting the State’s emergency services, including the gardaí, the army, air corps and navy, the Irish Coast Guard, the fire service, and the HSE ambulance service.

It is hoped the event will highlight the role played by the voluntary agencies, and encourage young people to sign up — a move which can often lead to a career in a state agency later on.

The event is being run by the Knocknaheeny-Hollyhill, Garda Youth Diversion Project in conjunction with Gurranabraher gardaí and Cork City Council.

The events will run from 11am to 5pm, with traffic diversions in place around Kennedy Quay.

Each agency will have a display in Cork City Hall.

The event coincides with the Cork Harbour Open weekend which will see a flotilla of more than 100 vessels sailing in to the city centre after the exercises.

Demo times

* Friday

City Hall: 3.30pm to 8pm

* Saturday

City Hall: 10am to 6pm

Outdoor demos, Kennedy Quay: 11am to 4.30pm

* Sunday

City Hall: 12pm to 4pm

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