History of the team - Serving the community since 1978
For three decades now, a group of dedicated volunteers has come to the assistance of those in peril around the cliffs of Tramore and surrounding areas. The group known as the "Tramore Cliff Rescue" has been at the service of the community since 1978.
The team was formed as a result of a tragic accident along a section of cliffs in Tramore, when a youth lost his life after falling down the cliffs. At the time a number of individuals put there own lives at risk in attempting a rescue, but the difficulty of access and recovery from both the cliff top and the life boat at sea, prevented further intervention in the tragedy.
After the incident a number of meetings took place in Tramore to find a workable solution to similar situations in the future. The accident highlighted that there was an urgent need for a specilised cliff rescue unit and a decision was made with the backing of Tramore town commissioners and other interested parties to set up a cliff rescue team along the lines of the already established Sea Rescue unit. Many of the original volunteers were drawn from the RNLI and Sea Rescue Lifeboats crews as they had knowledge of rescue procedures and were familiar with the coastline of the area.
In the early days of the unit, assistance was received from the recently formed South Eastern Mountain Rescue association (SEMRA), who passed on valuable skills in rescue techniques and abseiling (method used to climb down the cliff).
In 1979 other members while attending a Water Safety conference at Atlantic College (AC) in Wales, observed that the college had an effective Cliff Rescue Unit. Contact was made with the college and a team from Tramore was invited to attend a training course with the AC Cliff Rescue Unit covering all aspects of cliff rescue work including the cost and types of equipment required to set up a cliff rescue team.
Returning to Ireland the findings of the course were presented to the committee and the team adopted a regular training schedule using equipment donated by the AC team and purchased with the support and donations of the people of Tramore. Later that year senior instructors from AC visited Tramore to further instruct the team in the techniques of Cliff Rescue and to establish the team as an operational unit.
After this start-up training took place at Tiglin Outdoor Training Centre in Wicklow including search management, navigation and mountain rescue skills. By the end of 1979, the team was well established and Tramore had an effective cliff rescue unit on stand by and ready for the call out to respond to any type of cliff incident.
The story of the Tramore team grew with their experience and in 1980 after a demonstration of there skills in Newtown cove, the team were invited to attend a course in Mountain climbing techniques run by the Royal Marine commandos in Cormwall.
From humble beginnings and after years of dedicated voluntary service to the local community, the Tramore Cliff Rescue team has built up skills and expertise in using the latest techniques for carrying out fast and safe rescues under difficult situations. Techniques that have been used to save many lives and to instruct other cliff and mountain rescue teams through out Ireland. No other organisation can match this unique track record and fast rescue techniques, which have been developed to meet the difficult demands of cliff incidents along the coastline.
However all equipment and techniques are useless without the dedication and voluntary spirit of the team members who continue to serve the community today.