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 Wild Places Emergency Care  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  086 8210112  Meath /Dublin
 Bernie Stenson 
 086 6034126    Countrywide
 Tollymore Mountain Centre    0044 48 43 72 21 58    
 Marie Lyons 0872901765 Mayo