First Aid Training

The Irish Canoe Union recommends that all kayakers and canoeists complete a First Aid training course. For certain ICU Skills Awards and  Instructor & Coach Qualifications, a First Aid certificate is required in order for a candidate to progress to assessment.

The Irish Canoe Union does not deliver First Aid training. Instead we recommend that canoeists attend a reputable First Aid course such as Rescue Emergency Care (REC). Most First Aid certificates require re-validation every 3 years.

It is required that all instructors and coaches hold a current first aid certificate in order to validate their qualification.    

Instructors & First Aid Courses
Under current guidelines the Rescue Emergency Care (REC) and Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certified courses are the only acceptable qualifications.  These courses are specially designed to equip candidates with the skills to deal with injuries that may occur where environmental and weather conditions can have a significant effect.  The table below shows the appropriate levels.


ICU Instructor
Rescue Emergency Care (REC)
Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

Level 1

Level 2
Level 2

Level 2
Level 2
Level 2

Level 3
Level 3
Level 3

Level 4
Level 3
Level 3

With increasing public awareness of health and safety issues in Ireland the range of First Aid courses on offer has expanded considerably.  Most courses deal with "Urban" First Aid where rapid access the emergency services is assumed. If you wish to determine if a course is acceptable please contact the ICU Office with a copy of the course syllabus and details of the awarding body ready for review.  In general no "Occupational First Aid" or "Order of Malta Course" is acceptable as they do not deal with non-urban aqueous environments, but always contact the ICU Office to confirm.


First Aid Kits
Recommended minimum contents for a First Aid Kit for Instructors & Coaches:

  • Rubber gloves 
  • Vent aid or resuscitation barrier device 
  • Paramedical shears 
  • Tweezers 
  • Safety pins 
  • Roll of first aid tape 
  • Triangular bandages x3 
  • Wound dressings (assorted sizes) x3 
  • Roller bandages (assorted sizes) x3 
  • Foil blanket or emergency blanket 
  • Penlight or snap light 
  • Notebook and pencil 
  • Sam splint 
  • Waterproof container (to keep supplies dry) 

First Aid Training Providers

The Rescue Emergency Care (REC) First Aid training scheme has been specially designed for outdoor sports and remote environments. It is the recommended training for Instructors by ICU Training Unit

Course Providers

Tomas Aylward 087 2494847 Kerry
Paul Butcher 086 8506611 Dublin
Paul Cahill 087 6639922 Meath
Jane Carney  086 2933477 Wicklow
Liam Kavanagh 086 8893387  Wicklow
Vaughan Mason 087 2851081 Dublin
Joe O'Gorman  01 2989719 Dublin
Eithna Synnott  00441693738333 Northern Ireland
Pat Reid -First Aid for Life 086 8210349  Kildare
 Barry Redmond - First Response  086 8210112  Meath /Dublin
 Bernie Stenson - First Response  086 6034126  Countrywide

15 Cleevaun, Naas Co Kildare.
045 866117
086 8210 349.

Wild Places Emergency Care - Paul Cahill
66 Riverside Lawns , Kinnegad , Co Westmeath,
087 6639922

First Response - Barry Redmond
086 8210112

Northern Ireland: Tollymore Mountain Centre
0044 48 43 72 21 58