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Civil Defence open evening 2 September 2008

Civil Defence membersAN open evening is being held in Douglas next week to provide potential new members with an insight into the work of the Isle of Man Civil Defence Corps.

The organisation is currently staging a recruitment drive in a bid to attract a fresh intake of volunteers. People with a strong sense of community spirit are being sought to provide support to the Island’s frontline agencies such as the Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Service and Coastguard. Membership is open to anybody aged between 18 and 60 years who is physically fit, honest and reliable and who enjoys working as part of a team.

The recruitment campaign has already generated a lot of interest and about 50 application packs have been sent out in the past two weeks. Further information will be available at the opening evening which is being staged on Wednesday, September 10, at Civil Defence headquarters in Douglas. Current members will be on hand to chat to interested parties and offer a personal account of what is involved in terms of training, emergency call-outs and social activities.

Deputy Commandant Ann Birtles joined the Civil Defence Corps, which is overseen by the Emergency Planning Office at the Department of Home Affairs, in April 2004 and describes it as a life-changing experience.

Civil Defence Deputy Commandant Ann BirtlesShe said:

‘Instead of asking for help, we are the help. Volunteers work alongside the emergency services and can make a real difference for someone who is in trouble. The skills you learn last a lifetime and have an impact on your job and on you as a person. You are never the same again!’

Ann, whose work for the IoM Civil Defence Corps earned her a nomination for a Pride In Mann award, added:

‘On an island we have to rely on each other to help out if things go wrong or emergencies happen. Through Civil Defence you can learn how to assist others in the community and enjoy being part of a brilliant team.’

The open evening will take place from 8pm at Homefield, 88 Woodbourne, Douglas. Anybody interested in joining the Isle of Man Civil Defence Corps who is unable attend the event can obtain an information pack and application form from Martin Blackburn or Ian Young, telephone 694316 or 694317.

* Photo of Deputy Commandant Ann Birtles courtesy of IoM Newspapers.

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