Epilepsy Ireland were delighted to recently attend and assist with a presentation on epilepsy awareness & training for police officers from across the globe at an International Police Association (IPA) seminar on “First Responders to a mass causality event”.
We attended the seminar at the invitation of Garda Larry Hoey, a serving member of An Garda Síochána based in Phoenix Park and a member of the IPA.
Larry has a personal connection with epilepsy through his son Christopher. As a serving Garda and a father of a person with epilepsy, Larry knows how important epilepsy awareness & training is for frontline police officers and unfortunately, how some seizures can be misinterpreted by police officers.
As a member of the IPA, Larry secured a presentation slot on epilepsy awareness & training at the IPA event which was hosted in Dublin this year. The event involved a series of seminars and ran for an entire week from October 13th – 20th and featured talks ranging from armed response protocol and mass casualty incidents.
Over the last number of months, Epilepsy Ireland have been working closely with Larry on his presentation for the IPA seminar and we were delighted to attend alongside him on the day of his presentation for support, and to provide further information to police officers where required.
In a seminar which had standing room only, Larry gave an outstanding presentation on epilepsy from the perspective of a police officer alongside his own personal experience with assistance from our very own National Information Officer, Geraldine Dunne.
We, and Larry, were thrilled with the response and interest in epilepsy. Subsequently, stemming from the seminar, a number of forces are now looking to implement epilepsy awareness training for their officers. Moreover, in a week that was packed with a number of seminars of interest for police officers, Larry’s presentation was voted as one of the best presentations of the week.
We are continuing to work with Larry with regard to epilepsy training and awareness for members of An Garda Síochána with the common goal of eventually securing a stand-alone epilepsy training & awareness unit for new recruits in the Garda Training College in Templemore.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the International Police Association for the opportunity to provide further information on epilepsy for their members and specifically, we would like to thank Garda Larry Hoey, whose passion on the need for epilepsy awareness for police officers has already made an international impact.
We look forward to working with him and An Garda Síochána in the future.