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New Commandant for Island’s Civil Defence Corps 31 May 2007

Steve Champion has been appointed Commandant of the Isle of Man Civil Defence Corps Volunteers.

Steve, 52, of Ramsey, was congratulated on his appointment by Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK.

Mr Quayle said:

‘It’s a pleasure to congratulate Steve on his new post. He will be responsible for leading the Island’s 47 Civil Defence volunteers in ensuring community safety, in support of other emergency services. All Civil Defence volunteers put in regular training sessions to gain skills in hill search techniques, navigation, rest centre management, catering and so on – all the skills required to assist at many different kinds of incidents.
‘I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Commandant, Eugene Huxley-Wright, for all his efforts over the past couple of years.’

A former Regimental Sergeant Major in the Light Infantry, Steve hails from Newcastle and moved to the Isle of Man to make a fresh start after leaving the British Army in 1997. His 25 years’ service saw him travel to 34 different countries. Shortly after arriving on the Island, Steve took up paid employment as Quartermaster of the Island’s Army Cadet Force which currently involves him co-ordinating training for the Island’s 114 cadets, aged from 12 years to 18 years nine months.

He commented:

‘It’s very satisfying to me to watch young cadets from the Island’s six detachments mature into well turned-out young citizens, and many have gone on to take up commissions in the regular Forces. I hope to bring the same kind of outlook to the Civil Defence Corps – maintaining progress in developing the Corps in unison with the police, ambulance and fire services while having fun. You’ve got to have fun and enjoyment in what you do or life can be very tedious.’

TT fan Steve has been a Civil Defence volunteer since April 2004. He became a team leader within two years and went on to assist in co-ordinating training. He has also revamped and manages the Corps’ stores, and was promoted to Commandant following the retirement of Eugene Huxley-Wright. Civil Defence volunteers can opt to assist with radio communications during the TT.

Generally, they are called out to assist in emergencies, such as the recent discovery of an unexploded bomb in Santon. Volunteers maintained a security cordon around the site for several days until bomb disposal experts could travel from the UK to make safe the high explosive device. Duties can range from providing first aid, flood salvage and hill search to co-ordinating an emergency evacuation centre in the event of a major incident.

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