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2020 News Items

2020 News Items

Our Hon. Secretary on leave Mr. John Connolly, Honorary Secretary of the Lifesaving Foundation is taking a short leave from his post. John will undergo spinal surgery in November and will take some recouperation time into the new year. His colleagues in the Foundation, his many friends and acquaintances wish him a speedy recovery.

Ms. Elizabeth Bennett Retires:The Foundation would like to congratulate lifesaver Elizabeth (Tizzy) Bennett on her retirement from Seattle Children’s Hospital after 38 years there. Happily, She will continue to be a clinical instructor at the University of Washington and the Life Jacket Work Group co-chair for the US National Water Safety Action Plan. Tizzy visited Ireland twice to speak at Foundation conferences.

The Ireland Medal Recipient for 2020
The Lifesaving Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2020 Ireland Medal has been awarded to medical doctor Paddy Morgan. Paddy is a consultant anaesthetist, at North Bristol NHS Trust, where he is the Trauma Team Leader. He is also a Critical Care Doctor with Great Western Air Ambulance; Secretary of International Lifesaving Society’s Medical Advisory Panel;  UK Search & Rescue Medical Sub-committee member; International Drowning Research Alliance member; medical officer to the Extreme Environments Laboratory, University of Portsmouth; and an instructor in Expedition & Wilderness Medicine. In his youth Paddy worked as a surf lifeguard and lifeguard instructor. He is Honorary Medical Advisor to Surf Life Saving GB. He was a rope and water rescue technician with Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue and has undertaken expeditions to Arctic Greenland, Africa (north, west, and east) and medical support expeditions in Europe and South America.
Paddy’s maternal grandfather was one of 8 brothers who initially worked the family farm in County Sligo in the early 1900’s. Due to a combination of brothers emigrating to America and his great-grandfathers ill health, the farm struggled to make a profit. To earn a little extra his grandfather brewed poitín (moonshine) in the local hills. That was until the Garda caught up with him and suggested he leave the country or go to jail - so he moved to England! He met Paddy’s grandmother in Manchester where she was working as cook to a doctor’s family. She was originally from County Cavan and had moved to England for work reasons. Paddy says, “Despite growing up in Blackpool, it was very definitely a matriarchal Irish household!” 

The Life Saving Awards Research Society [LSARS], have featured an article by Mr. John Connolly, Secretary of the Lifesaving Foundation in its August, 2020 Magazine. The title of the article is "The Ireland Medal - The First Ten Years". The article can be found on pages 33 to 44. To view it follow article. You may view the entire magazine by following this link.

International Drowning Researchers’ Alliance [IDRA], have issued recommendations for CPR during the Covid-19 outbreak. The advice is demonstrated on a poster which is available here as a guide to first responders.
The alliance has also issued a document entitled: Resuscitation of the drowned person in the era of COVID-19 disease: A common ground for recommendations, identification of research needs and a global call to action which is also available from here.

Donation from Association of Retired Gardaí:
On the occasion of the of the 2019 Ireland Medal presentation in Dooley's Hotel, Waterford on Monday, 24th February a cheque was presented to the Lifesaving Foundation from the Retired Garda Association. The cheque was presented to Vincent Flynn, Chairperson of the Lifesaving Foundation by Mr. Matt Givens, President and Ms. Secretary of the Garda Siochana Retired Members' Association. This donation will be used to finance research activities connected with the "Doherty Fund" which supports police officers, serving or retired, worldwide who wish to attend one of our events to present on the topic of drowning prevention, rescue or aftercare. The fund is named after the late Garda Commissioner Eamonn Doherty who was an Ireland Medal recipient. The Foundation is very grateful to the association and to the many other groups who support its work on drowning prevention research.

2020 Programme:

The Lifesaving Foundation wishes to inform all that its planned International Drowning Prevention Research Conference in September 2020 has been cancelled. There is no certainty in hotel accommodation and international flights to and from Ireland arising from the Covid-19 virus.

We have decided not to organise any events or activities during the remainder of 2020 that would require our bringing people together. We will continue to promote and undertake drowning research electronically. Decisions on the planned ‘PTSD and First Responders’ Seminar and Ireland Medal events will be taken around November when, hopefully, we will have a clear idea of the hotel and travel situations. We would hope to host the PTSD seminar around March/April and the Ireland Medal events around September/October 2021. We are accepting nominations for the 2020 Ireland Medal via e-mail.

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