Child Safeguarding Statement

1.   Name of service being provided:

The key functions of Galway Mountain Rescue Team (GMRT) is Search & Rescue in mountain areas, including the provision of first aid / medical care.

      2. Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm:

      Galway Mountain Rescue Team provides a professional emergency service to the highest possible standards. We are responsible for search and rescue in the mountains of Western Ireland, primarily in Galway and Clare and are available twenty-four hours a day, 365 days per year. We may also be called to assist one of the other 10 mountain rescue teams in Ireland or other emergency services. 

      GMRT is made up solely of volunteers who are either full members or trainee (aspirant) members. GMRT provide a search and rescue service under what can be at times in difficult physical conditions due to the operation environment often found in Irish mountains and outdoor areas.

We in GMRT ensure that insofar as possible children are protected while they are in the care of GMRT in any capacity. We undertake to provide a safe environment and experience, where the welfare of the child/young person is paramount.

All GMRT members, both full and trainee (aspirant) members will observe the following good work practices to ensure that every young person remains safe and has a positive experience whether during a search & rescue operation or an education event. All GMRT members who are in contact with young people as part of their role must adopt a child centred approach. This will be done by: 

GMRT Code Of Practice

         Always put the young person’s welfare and safety first.

         Treat all young people equally and as individuals, with respect and dignity.

         Involve young people in decision-making, as appropriate.

         Use appropriate language and maintain awareness around language and comments made. If you think that something you said may have caused offence or upset, then try to address it in a sensitive manner.

         Respect a young person’s personal space.

         When providing first aid / medical care do so with the minimum intrusion while ensuring the best care is given.

         Keep a written record of any injury that occurs to a young person, along with details of treatment given.

         Lead by example and create an atmosphere of trust.

         Be cognisant of a young person’s limitations, due to a medical condition for example.

         Give young people encouragement, support and enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.

         Ensure there are clear channels of communication and access to GMRT members if parents/guardians or young people wish to voice their concerns if there is something they are not happy about.

         GMRT members should not work alone with a young person.  Where this is unavoidable, for example due to operational demands, it should be with the full consent and knowledge of the parents/guardians as far as this is practical and/or a senior member of GMRT  i.e. Party Leader/Incident Manager

 3.     Risk Assessment

     We have carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while availing of our services. Below is a list of the areas of risk we have identified and the list of procedures for managing these risks. All GMRT members will act within the GMRT Code Of Practice when dealing with young people (see above).

 

 

Risk identified

Procedure in place to manage identified risk

1

Lone working with a young person during a

a) Search & Rescue operation in an outdoor mountain setting,

b) while being transported in a GMRT vehicle or

c) at an educational event

-If GMRT are called to an incident where a young person is lost or injured the team endeavours to:

     -Ensure that An Garda Síochána are aware the incident involves a young person.

     -Ensure the scene is safe.

     -If practical, never attend medically to a young person alone.  If it is not practical, ensure that a senior member of GMRT  i.e. Party Leader/Incident Manager is aware that a young person is being attended to.

     -Where possible have permission from the Parent or Guardian to administer care.

     -When required call additional resources to administer care.

 

- GMRT  members should not work alone with a young person.  Where this is unavoidable, for example due to operational demands, it should be with the full consent and knowledge of the parents/guardians as far as is practical and or a senior member of GMRT  i.e. Party Leader/Incident Manager.

 

-If in the course of a GMRT operation a GMRT member comes across a young person on their own and provides immediate assistance they will bring this to the attention of the Party Leader/Incident Manager as soon as possible.

 

-Generally, the consent of the young person should be sought in relation to physical contact (except in an emergency or a dangerous situation).

 

-While we recognise that sometimes it may be necessary for a GMRT  member to work on a one to one basis with a child or young person, GMRT  members should not spend excessive amounts of time alone with an individual young person. 

 

-Sometimes GMRT  will assist or give demonstrations to scout groups and organisations who work with young people. In these cases, GMRT  members will:

     -Ensure that a parent/guardian, representative of the organisation / school is present at all times. 

2

Excessive level of medical intervention to a young person

-When providing first aid / medical care do so with minimum intrusion while ensuring the best care is given.

 

-Generally, the consent of the young person should be sought in relation to physical contact (except in an emergency or a dangerous situation).

 

-Generally medical intervention should be with the full consent and knowledge of the parents/guardians depending on age and as far as is practical and / or a senior member of GMRT  i.e. Party Leader/Incident Manager.

3

Communication with young people that a team member has met through GMRT activity using direct contact, text messages, Facebook or any other forms of social media

-GMRT members should not communicate with young people they have met through GMRT activity directly in an ongoing manner or using text messages, Facebook or any other forms of social media.

4

Photographing and or recording of young people

GMRT members will not take photographs/video of young people for any reason other than specified official GMRT reasons.

 

-An example of this would be when requested to take a photograph by management for operational reasons.

4. Procedures

Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017), and Tulsa’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice and the GMRT CHILD SAFEGUARDING POLICY & PROCUDURE 2018 – 2020. In addition to the procedures listed above in our risk assessment, the following procedures support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our service.  

     Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against GMRT Team Member or Trainee of a child availing of our service;

·         Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of Team Members to work with children;

·         Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm;

·         Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tulsa;

·         Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons (if any) in our service who are mandated persons;

·         Procedure for appointing a relevant person.

All procedures listed are available upon request from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and are contained in the GMRT CHILD SAFEGUARDING POLICY & PROCEDURE 2018 – 2020.

5.    5. Implementation

We recognise that implementation is an on-going process. Our service is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our services.

This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed by 28th February 2020 or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

 

Signed:         Dermot Hughes   (Provider)

                        ChairPerson Galway Mountain Rescue Team.

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For queries of feedback, please contact Dermot Hughes, Designated Liaison Person, (Relevant Person under the Children First Act 2015) on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.