Why did I join FSR?
Four years ago, I knew a young fella in his twenties that lost his life in the River Foyle, it was a long search to recover his body. FSR never gave up on finding him and I admired the dedication of the members of FSR as they searched each and every day until they recovered him and brought him home to his family. I was inspired by this to join as I wanted to be part of a team that could help to be a listening ear to someone that needed it at their darkest hour, as well as help provide a family with a bit of closure in finding a loved one who has sadly lost their life.
What is your role?
I have been a volunteer with FSR for nearly 2 years now. I volunteer every Friday and Saturday nights on duty from 9pm until 3am, either as part of the shore team or boat crew. I am also part of the 2nd emergency response pager team (this is a backup team to the 1st response team) where I can be tasked by the police, 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Any training courses?
When I joined FSR, I was given some amazing training opportunities that helped me progress not only as a volunteer, but as a person. These included: first aid, suicide awareness with safe talk and suicide first aid. In October last year, I took part in a four weekend advanced level 3 first aid course known as first response emergency care, a pre hospital care qualification which I was happy to do and even happier to have passed.
I am currently studying counselling at the NWRC. On completing my Level 4 Certificate in Counselling Studies I then hope to proceed to the foundation degree. When fully qualified, I hope to practice privately and also offer my services to FSR. I have a dream to maybe facilitate a bereavement group, or be a point of contact and support for a family who are in a distressed way regarding a search for a loved one or support for people who have turned their lives around and just need some encouragement. I’ma long way off this but as my lecturer said ‘Never give up on your dreams!’