Ireland’s Mick Gahan & Declan Cassidy re-elected to World Rescue Organisation

The World Rescue Organisation held its AGM on Thursday, where it elected its Executive Committee, ahead of this weekend’s virtual World Rescue Challenges.

The World Rescue Organisation (WRO) is a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity. It was created to assist with the dissemination of emergency rescue and medical techniques, practices and procedures to aid the effective management of Road Traffic Collisions and the care of those involved.

The WRO draws on the experience of its member organisations and its partners to develop national bodies, the rescue challenge concept and produce training programmes and initiatives that assist rescue and medical crews whilst working in the post-crash environment.

The WRO’s Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday last.

Rescue Organisation Ireland’s Mick Gahan and Declan Cassidy were both re-elected to the WRO Executive Committee as Vice Chair and Treasurer respectfully. Yannick Auloy from FNSPE was also re-elected as Director of Education and Development.

Michael Gahan – WRO Vice-Chair
Michael Gahan is a Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer (SACFO) with Wicklow County Fire Service. He is responsible for the Strategic Management and Operational activities of the service, reporting to Chief Fire Officer Aidan Dempsey.

Gahan has over 20 years Managerial, Technical and Operational experience and provides strategic leadership and support to each of the brigades across the county. Other responsibilities include the safety, health and welfare of staff; the Management of Capital and Expenditure budgets; the Development and Co-ordination of the Training Centre and Training Programmes to meet identified needs of the service.

Wicklow SACFO and WRO Vice-Chair Mick Gahan speaking at ROI event in Tipperary. Photo Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

He has also been involved in European Civil Protection mechanism for a number of years and is an operational officer within his brigade rostered on call to respond and manage incidents while on duty. SACFO Gahan began his career in the fire service as a retained fire-fighter in Carlow in 2001 and is now a brigade instructor in several disciplines.

Mick Gahan assessing a Rescue Organisation Ireland team from Wicklow. Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

He developed a keen interest in the challenge concept, beginning in 2005 when competing with Carlow Fire and Rescue Service in Northern Ireland and Scotland and attended his first World Rescue Challenge in South Africa in 2006. He went on to join Rescue Organisation Ireland in 2008 and is currently their Director of Operations. He became the WRO Head Assessor in 2015 having assessed at all previous World Rescue Challenges since 2010.

WRO Vice-Chair Mick Gahan debriefing an ROI team in Kildare. Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

Chair of the World Rescue Organisation Paul Schroeder said “Michael is committed to the role as Vice Chair of WRO and is looking forward to help implement the strategic business plan, specifically overseeing the implementation of updated organisational structure, implementing an equality process and providing support to Executive and Member Organisations.”

Declan Cassidy – WRO Treasurer
Declan Cassidy joined the Meath County Fire and Rescue Service in February 1999 and currently still serving in the same brigade. Having served a time in the automotive industry and a keen interest in cars since a young age, it was an easy transition to the extrication element of brigades’ response to Road Traffic Collisions for him.

The introduction of Rescue Organisation Ireland in 2008 provided a platform to develop those skills and enhance the training received within the brigade which led to performing in challenges right up to joining the ROI committee and Executive in November 2010.

Meath Fire Officer and WRO Treasurer Declan Cassidy. Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

In the role of sub-station officer Declan became an RTCI completing both a National course in Ireland and an RTCI course in the Fire Service College, in Moreton-in-Marsh in the UK. The position on the ROI executive made a dual role within the ROI as he already had begun as an ROI assessor later becoming a WRO assessor following the WRC 2010 in Cork.

WRO Treasurer Declan Cassidy debriefing Rescue Organisation Ireland teams. Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

Having progressed in the field of WRO assessor, in 2012 at the WRC in London, Cassidy was elected to the position of WRO treasurer for the one-year interim period until being re-elected at WRC 2013 in Florida for the allocated two year period, subsequent re-elections in 2015, 2017 and 2019 have seen Declan continue in the role and is due for election at WRC 2021.

Declan Cassidy assessing an RTC Team from Carlow. Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

Sub-Officer Cassidy also held the treasurer Role in the ROI from 2010 until 2018 when he became what is his current ROI Executive role, ROI Secretary. Aside from the day-to-day management of the WRO account, he also assists in other functional areas of the executive alongside fellow WRO executive members, including participation in meeting and liaising with Global Road Safety Partnership GRSP, United Nations Road Safety Collaboration UNRSC, International Road Victims Partnership IRVP and Renault tertiary safety to mention some.

This weekend, WRO hold its annual World Rescue Challenges. This year’s event is being held online and virtually. Previous events scheduled to take place in Miami, Florida in November 2021 were postponed due to Covid-19, and the rescheduled one this year was also postponed. To maintain momentum and to continue its training and development ethos and objectives in which the WRO was established for, the Executive Committee decided to proceed with this year’s event online and virtually.

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