AN EMERGENCY CONTROLLER with the HSE has won an EU award for his part in securing the rescue of an injured Irishman stranded in Greenland last May.
In an award ceremony in Riga, Lativia, Will Carloan – an emergency controller with the HSE National Ambulance – won an award for Outstanding Call-Taker for handling a call for an emergency abroad.
The award ceremony, organised by the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), aims to honour emergency service workers engaged in improving and promoting the European emergency number 112.
Call from injured man’s father
Will Carloan had been on duty at the HSE control centre on 5 May 2011, when an emergency call came in from Conor Kavanagh about his son, Rowan, who had been on a hiking expedition in Greenland.
Rowan, a mountaineer, had developed serious foot injuries during the expedition, leaving him stranded in subzero temperatures in a remote area. Desperate and unable to reach the local authorities using his satellite phone, he contacted his family in Ireland for help.
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Carolan said that Conor Kavanagh was very distraught over his son’s situation, but that he was able to provide information about Ronan’s trip and his condition.
Saying that “normal protocol had been abandoned”, Carolan then considered what he would do in an Irish situation – and contacted the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Dublin to ask if they knew of any counterparts in Greenland, Denmark or other adjacent country who could provide assistance to the stranded Irishman.
Kavanagh was subsequently rescued by helicopter and admitted to hospital for treatment. He has since returned to Ireland.