Clare County Council Awarded For Flood Response

Clare County Council’s emergency response to flooding in the County last year has been recognised at the Engineers Ireland Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Awards.

The local authority was named overall winner of the Public Sector category by the Tánaiste and Minister for Education & Skills, Mary Coughlan TD.

On receiving the award at a ceremony in Dublin, Seán Lenihan, Senior Executive Engineer with Clare County Council said: “I would like to paid compliment to my hardworking colleagues, both indoor and outdoor. I also wish to acknowledge and thank the County Manager Tom Coughlan, for his ongoing support of the CPD initiative, as well as former Manager Alec Fleming and former County Engineer Tom Carey, whose initial support was instrumental in Clare County Council becoming the first Local Authority to be accredited by Engineers Ireland.”

“The result of our early entry into this space has resulted in the continuous upskilling of the Council’s staff abilities and competencies and this has to be welcomed”, stated Mr. Lenihan

The awards, now in their seventh year, recognise organisations that have demonstrated clear-cut business benefits arising directly from their use of CPD practices in developing engineering employees to realise innovative projects and initiatives.

Clare County Council was shortlisted in the Public Sector category along with Cavan County Council, Dublin City Council, the Irish Air Corps and South Dublin County Council.

Mayor of Clare Cllr. Christy Curtin congratulated the Council’s engineering staff in winning the award, which he described as a tribute to everyone associated with the emergency response to the flooding late last year.

He said: “The staff of Clare County Council, along with the emergency services, made an outstanding contribution to the flood recovery efforts throughout Clare last November.  Staff worked around the clock to ensure that the threat posed by the flood waters to property and indeed to life was minimised.”

“It was an unprecedented and major emergency for all emergency services personnel in the County. The collaborative emergency response was a tribute to everyone who took part”, Mayor Curtin added.

Clare County manager Tom Coughlan paid tribute to Council staff who contributed to the emergency response efforts in November 2009.

He said: “The Framework for Major Emergency Management played an important role in ensuring the preparedness for and response to the severe weather events were as effective as they were in practice. It ensured responses were delivered and managed locally and that a common understanding of the steps to be taken was shared amongst local agencies and authorities.”

“In the three years leading up to the flooding, Clare Local Authorities participated in more than  40 training modules and major emergency exercises.  This training programme, which takes place on an ongoing basis, ensured that the efficiency of the emergency response to the serious flooding was maximised”, Mr. Coughlan commented.

“To be recognised by your peers is an enormous honour for the Council’s technical staff. I would like to congratulate and thank them for their invaluable contribution to last year’s emergency response effort”, he concluded.

Congratulating Clare County Council, Minister for Defence Tony Killeen said: “I wish to pay tribute to Clare County Council staff, volunteers and charitable organisations, and supporting agencies in managing the crises in the manner they did, and avoiding further damage, serious injuries or loss of life as a result of the severe weather events.”

The Minister continued: “The Defence Forces also played a central role in the combined emergency response to the flooding in Clare.  Members of the Defence Forces assisted in the building of defence works along the Lower River Shannon and in Ennis, while they were also able to access flooded areas. Furthermore, the Air Corps assisted the emergency services in ensuring detailed aerial photography of affected areas was undertaken.”

Other winners at the 2010 Engineers Ireland CPD Awards included Vilicom in the small-sized company category; O’Connor Sutton Cronin in the medium-sized category; ESB International in the large-sized company category and Boston Scientific, the Galway hi-tech company, as the overall Engineers Ireland CPD Company of the Year 2010.

The Engineers Ireland CPD Accredited Employer scheme is co-funded by the Department of Education and Skills under the National Training Fund and plays an important role in the Government’s objective to build a Smart Economy.  The 123 organisations involved in the Engineers Ireland CPD Accredited Employer scheme employ in excess of 26,000 engineers and technicians.

-ENDS-

Notes To Editor:
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