The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, has commended the “inspirational heroes” of the Community Rescue Service ahead of a new BBC series showcasing its incredible work.
The charity – which responds to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week – was formed in late 2007 and is modelled on similar organisations operating in other countries throughout the world for many years.
It provides a search and rescue response for missing people, crisis and suicide intervention, rural and urban searches, water rescues, community support and education.
The rescue units are also supported by search dogs, rescue swimmers and dive response teams.
The Community Rescue Service’s crucial work will be screened on BBC One’s new series, The Search, which begins at 10.40pm on Tuesday 22 January.
The Mayor said: “The volunteers of the Community Rescue Service are all inspirational heroes and we are so fortunate to have these amazing people watching over us.
“Last year the service responded to more than 400 callouts – the highest number in one year since it was set up.
“Those calls represent somebody in distress and in urgent need of help. The members of the Community Rescue Service risk their own safety to rush to the aid of others, day in, day out across Northern Ireland, including in Mid and East Antrim.
“We owe the Community Rescue Service a debt of gratitude, and on the behalf of our citizens I say ‘thank you’.”
Council officer Lisa Kirkwood, who is also a volunteer for the Community Rescue Service, said: “I have been involved with CRS since June 2017 and became a Search and Rescue Technician (SARTech) in October 2017.
“I am currently a support member and I primarily assist with a range of support functions, such as fundraising activities.
“I first became aware of the Community Rescue Service after spotting a post on social media, and I immediately wanted to get involved.
“I thought it would be really interesting and worthwhile.
“The work carried out by CRS is incredible and I feel privileged to work alongside such brave, selfless and inspiring people.”
As well as search operations, the Community Rescue Service also provides a blood bike service to take vital supplies, including baby milk, around the country.
Council is launching a water safety campaign later this year to help raise awareness of the dangers of water, and will be working in conjunction with groups such as the Community Rescue Service.
To find out more about the Community Rescue Service go to www.communityrescue.org or follow the organisation on social media.