Gary Coffey

Order of Malta Ambulance Corps

Co. Kerry 

Gary Coffey has been volunteering as a First Aid Responder with the Order of Malta ambulance corps. From 2019-2022, he served as a cadet who then worked his way up to become part of the senior unit. His maturity and ability to take control of possibly dangerous situations is praised whether he be one-on-one with a patient or managing an entire concert crowd.  

“Despite having a full-time college course and a part-time job, Gary is always the first one in the door and the last one out,” writes his nominator, “He has countless hours under his belt, and nothing is ever too much for him.” Particularly important to this type of volunteering, Gary’s calm and patient demeanor brings comfort to those sick or injured and he doesn’t get rattled under stress. 

Gary’s respect for his patients and his constant willingness to assist other young people, patients or volunteers, speaks to his deep understanding of people and their experiences. His chats put people at ease and is truly dedicated to his community and their wellbeing.  

Gary Hayes

Dun Laoghaire RNLI (lifeboat) and Dalkey Community First Responders

Co. Dublin 

Gary Hayes has been volunteering for 21 years with RNLI Dun Laoghaire lifeboat and 9 years with Dalkey First Responders. As an RNLI lifeboat helm, Gary demonstrates exceptional seamanship skills and navigational expertise. These abilities enable him to navigate treacherous waters and challenging conditions with confidence. His calmness under pressure and ability to make split-second decisions in high-risk situations make him an invaluable asset to the RNLI.  

Gary’s extensive medical knowledge and ability to assess and respond to medical emergencies are instrumental in providing critical care to those in need. His professionalism and readiness to act make him an invaluable first responder, aiding the community in times of crisis. The unfortunate reality of these positions is that Gary often sees death, and is very conscious of the mental health and impact this can have on his fellow volunteers. His poise and care is also felt by families and loved ones.  

Furthermore, this volunteer’s volunteer work directly contributes to building a safer and more resilient community. He recently led a project to raise money to buy six defibrillators. Gary is passionate about raising awareness about water safety and emergency preparedness. By sharing his experiences and knowledge with others, he inspires individuals to become more vigilant around water and encourages them to consider volunteering themselves. This multiplier effect further strengthens the community’s ability to respond swiftly and effectively to emergencies.  

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