We Are Randox | BBC NI’s The Search features Randox colleague Dale McGall
On Tuesday 23rd January 2019, a new three-part documentary series, The Search, aired on BBC Northern Ireland, featuring Randox’s very own Dale McGall.
By day, Dale is a Regulatory Compliance Officer at Randox making sure that all our products are of the highest quality and comply with all quality regulations before they are shipped all over the world to our customers.
Outside of work, however, Dale takes on a very different role when he volunteers as a Search and Rescue Technician (SarTECH) with the Community Rescue Service organisation in Northern Ireland (part of Lowland Rescue). Community Rescue Service is a team of approximately 130 people with units spread across the country on a 100% voluntary basis.
We caught up with Dale to hear all about his work as a SARTech volunteer;
Congratulations to CRS on the documentary, Dale! Can you tell us a little more about the work of Community Rescue Service and the role you play as a volunteer?
The Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR) is an umbrella organisation that enables Search and Rescue teams throughout the UK. It coordinates provision of Lowland SAR services, sets national standards for the teams and develops and shapes Lowland SAR policies.
In Northern Ireland, the team is known as the Community Rescue Service with units and personnel from all parts of the country. Presently there are units in Strabane, Coleraine, Portglenone, Broughshane, Antrim, Belfast, and South Down, amongst others.
Training is a key part of being in CRS. Before being allowed out on a Search, personnel are required to conduct training on map reading, radio communication, first aid, search techniques and water awareness. Over time, people can take part in additional training; from being part of a boat crew and use of kayaks, to water rescue and advanced first aid.
Within CRS, I am a Search and Rescue Technician (SARTech) and have completed several first aid courses.
How long have you been involved with Community Rescue Service?
I have been with CRS since 2017 when I was looking for volunteering opportunities outside of work. I saw some social media posts about the work of the Community Rescue Service and decided to get in touch.
The rest, as they say, is history!
I train weekly with the Antrim, Portglenone and Broughshane units. This training involves reinforcing existing knowledge, familiarisation training, and inviting third party organisations to give us specialist advice.
Can you describe a typical day/operation in the life of a CRS volunteer?
It may sound cliché but no two days are the same with the CRS! As well as the operational role of Search and Rescue, I have also found myself supervising street collections, marshalling for cycling clubs, and giving talks to other organisations.
What would a typical rescue involve?
Our rescues most often involve vulnerable high-risk members of society. Typically, this could be children, elderly people living with dementia, or those with mental health issues.
A call can go out at any time of the day or night and to any part of the country. I’ve been involved in searches that have lasted weeks and have had massive resources invested in them. Just as often though, I’ve had call-outs for which I’ve arrived at the meeting point and then been given the order to stand down as the missing person has been found. In either situation, our focus is locating the missing person as soon as possible and returning them to a place of safety.
It can a very busy lifestyle volunteering with CRS. While I can’t leave during working hours, as soon as I clock out from Randox I am ‘on duty’ with CRS because a call can come in at any time. Being flexible with your evenings, weekends and annual leave is a must as time is of the essence when a person goes missing.
On one occasion, I was involved in an overnight search in County Down, returning home around 09:00. A quick shower, change of clothes and I was back out to another rescue based in North Antrim. Is this compulsory? No, but as an operational SARTech, you are part of a team and there is a strong teamwork ethos where we support and help each other.
Is there anything you would like to share that you think isn’t commonly known about the CRS?
Something I wasn’t overly aware of before joining CRS is how dementia can affect people. People with dementia can regress to a period of their lives many decades ago. One search involved an elderly gentleman with dementia who had gone missing. Approximately thirty SARTechs were deployed across a wide area with a helicopter flying overhead. About an hour later, the call came to stand down as the gentleman had been found. What I found amazing about this particular search was the gentleman, who was not steady on his feet and used a zimmer frame to walk, was found roughly five miles away from his house!
As volunteers, none of us get paid but knowing you helped return a missing person to their loved ones is beyond any form of financial reward.
How does being a SarTECH volunteer compare with working in your day job at Randox?
The two roles are very different but there are a number of transferrable skills which have proved useful! The main one is attention to detail. In my role at Randox as a Regulatory Compliance Officer, I am often auditing performance and processes across the company. Not only do I review new and existing compliance legislation but I am also involved in assisting with the implementation of corrective and preventive actions.
My role as a SarTECH calls for a similar level of attention to detail. You never know where someone could be, or where there may be unknown danger for the missing person or the Search and Rescue team, so it’s important to always be on-your-guard and alert to even the smallest noise or change in environment when out on a rescue mission.
What do you hope The Search will achieve on BBC NI?
I’m hoping the series being aired will raise awareness of some of the challenges that we as a country face. The Search will help to showcase our people, capabilities and our professionalism. The Community Rescue Service is a vital service in Northern Ireland, but is 100% run by volunteers on whom the organisation very much relies.
If anyone would like to find out more information about the work I do with the Community Rescue Service, please visit https://www.communityrescue.org
You can watch The Search on BBC iPlayer here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0byhv18/the-search-series-1-episode-1
For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.
For further information please contact Randox PR by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re passionate about celebrating the kindness and generosity of our Randox employees. Each have their own unique and interesting story to tell and many give up their spare time to support their local community and help those in need.
Their compassion and commitment is what makes Randox the successful company it is today, and nobody demonstrates this better than our Logistics Team Leader, Carole Smyth.
Carole volunteers her time as Unit Leader of 2nd Antrim Girl Guides, a group of girls and young women who together, take part in activities designed to help them reach their potential and take an active and responsible role in the world around them.
As we continue our #WeAreRandox series of staff stories, we are delighted to have found out about the work Carole does with the Girl Guides.
We love getting to know the hobbies and interests that make our colleagues who they are, and hope that Carole’s story encourages other members of our team to consider some voluntary work in their local community.
By the sounds of it, Carole thinks it is an incredibly rewarding experience. Here’s her story.
I’ve been involved in the Girl Guides for 11 years now, having been encouraged to join by my sister-in-law Donna.
The organisation is entirely led by volunteers and therefore reliant on people signing up to commit to a few hours a week delivering Girl Guide activities.
My role as Unit Leader of 2nd Antrim Guides, along with two other leaders, is to ensure the girls have a varied programme and can gain access to activities they wouldn’t normally have access to. This can vary from arts and crafts to science workshops, cooking to camping, and dancing to orienteering.
Each activity aims to promote skills in the likes of leadership, listening, sharing and above all, developing the courage to take on new adventures and exciting challenges.
And it’s not just the girls who get the chance to embark on these adventures. Given my fear of heights, zip lining wasn’t exactly high up on my to do list, but when you have a group of Guides giving you “gentle” encouragement, what can you do?
Another highlight with the Girl Guides for me was June last year when I attended the Trooping of the Colour for the Queen’s birthday. Along with a few other leaders and girls, we were given access to the Youth Enclosure at the entrance to the Horse Guards Parade – a prime viewing spot to see the Royal Family. Then we were escorted to Buckingham Palace up the Mall, and even made it on to TV (if you don’t blink at that specific 0.1 second moment!)
The whole procession was just amazing and it was so special to be able to share this memory with my two daughters, one of whom is a Rainbow (ages 4-7) and the other a Brownie (ages 7-10). As a parent, I love that through Girl Guiding they have the opportunity to meet girls from other backgrounds and beliefs, and as I mentioned before, learn new skills and take part in lots of different activities, as well as earn Guiding-specific awards. From First Aid and World Cultures to Singing and Chocolate (yes you can gain a Chocolate badge – what’s not to love?), all of these awards look great on the girls’ CVs or university application forms.
And if you volunteer to be a leader, you can also study for new qualifications – in first response, hiking, catering or Duke of Edinburgh, to name but a few. Personally though, my favourite thing about being a Girl Guides leader is the opportunity to see the girls grow and develop during their time with us. I am able to witness shy girls gaining more confidence, girls with learning difficulties or health complications taking part in different activities that they would normally shy away from, and in general, just seeing all our girls enjoying their time together and making lasting friendships.
It sounds corny but I myself have also met lots of fantastic leaders during the last 11 years who I can now call lifelong friends. The bonds we as leaders, and the girls, make when we go away on our annual day trips, overnight stays, and camping adventures are quite unique.
This year our unit is attending an outdoor camp (our first overnight outdoor experience!) along with other units from our county. Last year, we took our Guides to Dunluce Guide House for our unit holiday and enjoyed a spot of horse riding, and last November we took part in UK Parliament Week by attending an evening at Stormont, where we met Arlene Foster. A few of our girls also took part in an activity day organised by Ulster Rugby at which they learned some basic rugby skills and had the opportunity to interact with Guides from all over Ulster.
The activities we offer to our Girl Guides are truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and I am proud that I am part of such a special organisation.
We’re very proud of Carole and the amazing work she does with Girl Guides, and are delighted that she has taken the time to share her story with us.
If you would like some further information on Girl Guiding, you can visit www.girlguiding.co.uk to register your interest.
For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com
With 111 years of events under its belt, the Antrim Agricultural Show is one of the longest running and most highly regarded of Northern Ireland’s regional agricultural shows.
Now in its 112th year, and with the backing of a new title sponsor in the form of Antrim-headquartered Randox Laboratories, the show has drawn in its largest crowd to date, with thousands of guests turning up for the Randox Antrim Show 2017, held in Shane’s Castle on Saturday 22nd July.
A special guest to this year’s event was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, visiting the Randox Antrim Show to show his support for the local farming community. During his visit to the popular agricultural show, Mr. Gove stopped by the Randox marquee to chat to Managing Director Dr. Peter FitzGerald, and Senior Manager Mark Campbell, about the company’s patented Biochip Array Technology.
With applications in human health, animal health, and food safety, the Biochip has revolutionised the diagnostics industry because it allows multiple tests to be carried out from a single sample on a single testing platform. Of particular interest to the Secretary of State and to the guests in attendance at this year’s Randox Antrim Show, was the Mycotoxin Biochip, capable of detecting all ten of the world’s most prevalent toxins in animal feed.
Stuart Penrose, Global Marketing Manager for the Randox Biochip, commented;
“Not only does the Randox Antrim Show offer us the opportunity to support the local community in which Randox has grown and flourished over the years, but through this partnership we can also offer that very same community the very latest in diagnostic technology to keep their livestock safe, happy, and importantly, healthy. What your animal eats plays a huge role in their health so with Randox Food Diagnostics you can rest assured that what you are giving your livestock is of the highest quality.”
Also on offer in the Randox marquee at the Randox Antrim Show was a free health analysis, conducted by the Randox Health team. Guests to the tent had the opportunity to find out their true body age – determined by weight, height, blood pressure, fat distribution and muscle distribution, among other measurements taken by a member of the team from Randox Health, the world’s most comprehensive and personalised health screening programme.
Designed to determine the status of your current health, but also to map out your future health, Randox Health constantly works to keep your body healthy. Unlike any other health care, Randox Health doesn’t wait until you are sick to make you better. Hundreds of guests at the Randox Antrim Show queued up in their droves to find out more, and so can you. Simply click here.
For more information about the Randox Antrim Show, please contact Randox PR: email email@example.com or phone 028 9442 2413.
Causeway Chamber of Commerce has announced Randox as the principal sponsor for the 2017 Causeway Coast and Glens Business Awards. The awards were officially launched today, Friday 2 June, at Dundarave Estate.
The awards are organised bi-annually by Causeway Chamber of Commerce and demonstrate the very best of business from across the region, highlighting the positive contribution that businesses make to the economy and to society as a whole.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, founder and MD of Randox, said:
“We are delighted to be sponsoring these awards for the first time, as they play a very important role in the Borough and beyond. One of the most important things the private sector can do is to celebrate and support each other. By highlighting our achievements and innovations we can inspire and motivate others, as well as increase our reach beyond these shores.”
Anthony Newman, President of Causeway Chamber, said:
“The awards have been in place since 2005 and since their conception they have prospered and become the leading event of their kind in the Borough. The Chamber Awards recognise and celebrate the contribution of businesses to their local community and the wider economy. Within our Borough we have dynamic companies that are making a positive contribution to their local communities and finding new markets for their products and services at home and further afield. Our awards acknowledge the relentless efforts of these businesses and their talented employees and it is great to see the mix of businesses at the awards, representing sectors from services to manufacturing to retail.”
Companies can enter into eighteen categories, covering business growth, new business, people development, customer service, innovation and life time achievement.
The full list of categories this year is:
- Best Tourism Attraction/Service of the Year Award sponsored by TOURISM IRELAND
- Accommodation Provider of the Year sponsored by FIRST TRUST BANK
- Training & Development Award sponsored by ULSTER UNIVERSITY
- Innovation Award sponsored by CAUSEWAY COAST & GLENS BOROUGH COUNCIL
- Retailer of the Year Award sponsored by AUTOLINE INSURANCE GROUP
- Health & Wellbeing Award sponsored by PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY
- Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award sponsored by RIADA RESOURCING
- Small Business of the Year Award sponsored by BANK OF IRELAND
- Green Business Award sponsored by FIRMUS ENERGY
- The Creative Industries Award sponsored by ULSTER BANK
- Social Enterprise of the Year Award sponsored by MC DONALDS
- AgriBusiness of the Year Award sponsored by ATG GROUP LTD
- Best Start up Business Award sponsored by CAUSEWAY ENTERPRISE AGENCY
- Business Growth Award sponsored by DANSKE BANK
- Best New Product / Service of the Year Award sponsored by ARMSTRONG MEDICAL
- Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by CAUSEWAY COAST AND GLENS BOROUGH COUNCIL
- Best Young Person in Business Award sponsored by NORTHERN REGIONAL COLLEGE
- Good Food Award sponsored by ELECTRIC IRELAND
The closing date for entries is Friday 21 July with entrants being assessed and the finalists announced in August 2017.
We are delighted that Sarah Travers will return to compere the Awards ceremony which will take place on Friday 29 September at Ulster University, Coleraine. This is now a major event in the Borough’s social calendar, so put that date in your diary now. The Chamber promises an excellent evening so come along, network and most importantly help us celebrate and reward all that is the best in business in the Borough.
Antrim Agricultural Society and Randox Laboratories have announced they’ve agreed a three-year deal whereby Randox will be the new title sponsor of the annual Antrim Show.
The Randox Antrim Show will take place this year on Saturday 22nd July at Shanes Castle, Antrim.
With 111 years of events under its belt, Antrim Show is one of the longest running and most highly regarded of Northern Ireland’s regional agricultural shows. It is a showcase of country life with an eclectic mix that includes the best of the best livestock competitions, equine events, local food and rural crafts, set amongst stalls, marquees and family entertainment.
Randox is one of the most important businesses in Northern Ireland. For over 35 years, it has been committed to transforming global healthcare. A world-leading medical diagnostics manufacturer, its products and services are used in hospitals, universities and laboratories in 145 countries. Spearheading the drive towards preventive healthcare, it opened Randox Health clinics across the UK to offer its diagnostic expertise directly to the public. Headquartered in Crumlin, Randox recently invested over £161m on Randox Science Park, redeveloping the former Masserene Barracks in Antrim into a state-of-the-art R&D, engineering and manufacturing hub.
Welcoming this show of support from Randox, a neighbouring company of the Show, Fred Duncan, Chairman of Antrim Agricultural Society, said:
“This partnership with Randox offers us a fantastic and refreshing opportunity to enhance our marketing plans as well as add to the Show’s offering of activities. We welcome the return of regular visitors and newcomers to enjoy our fun packed day in the country that we offer within the beautiful setting of the Shanes Castle Estate.
“Antrim Agricultural Society is a not for profit organisation. It’s thanks only to the support of sponsors and the hard work and dedication of a team of volunteers that the Show can continue to go from strength to strength.”
Randox is also well-known for its veterinary division and in line with its new commitment to equine events, through its sponsorship of the Randox Health Grand National, is developing a leading equine health programme. Show-goers are guaranteed an eye-opening experience when they visit the interactive stands at the Randox Health marquee at Shanes Castle on the 22nd July.
Randox’s Founder and Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald, said:
“This partnership means a great deal to Randox and we’re delighted to work with the very committed team behind this event. Our success is in no small way down to the support we’ve received from the local community and the people who work with us, and we believe that it’s vital to give back wherever possible. This is one way of the ways we are doing that and we’re all looking forward to the very first Randox Antrim Show.”
Coinciding with the news of this valuable support from Randox, the Show has unveiled a new logo as part of a rebrand that will also include an update of the website in time for the opening of competition entries in the early half of June. To stay up to date with Randox Antrim Show’s news, visit www.facebook.com/AntrimShow.
For more information about the Randox Antrim Show please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com
There are few partnerships in sport that compare to that between the jockey and their horse.
To celebrate these incredible animals, Randox is launching a new series in which well-known equestrians share their memories of their favourite horses.
This week, we hear from the legendary Sir Anthony McCoy, 20-time Champion Jump jockey.
In 2010 he won the Grand National on Don’t Push it – a victory he credits with transforming the rest of his career.
For more information about Randox Horse Tales please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com
Following the launch of a new market expansion initiative in China, global healthcare diagnostics company Randox Laboratories has this week marked the beginning of its recruitment drive in China with a student event in partnership with Ulster University and its Confucius Institute.
100 Chinese students currently studying business or science at Ulster University have come together this afternoon at Asian cuisine restaurant Zen Belfast to hear from a number of key speakers from the University’s Confucius Institute and the careers team at Randox.
Linda Magee, Head of Human Resources at Randox Laboratories, welcomed the students to the event and said;
“We are delighted to partner with Ulster University and The Confucius Institute to create a platform to raise awareness of the current and future job opportunities within our team based in China. Our increasing range of high quality products are in high demand in growing and dynamic markets such as China and we are therefore actively growing our market presence there and subsequently our team.”
Randox’s expansion in China means the recruitment team is actively seeking Mandarin speaking graduates in Northern Ireland who can join their dedicated Sales, Marketing and Scientific team in China.
“Our workforce of 1400 continues to expand across the globe as we increase the output of our R&D programmes, enhance our manufacturing capabilities at the Randox Science Park, and excitingly, showcase our offering of Randox products and services to the 600 million viewers of the Randox Health Grand National.”
Ulster University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement Professor Ian Montgomery said:
“As a global Confucius Institute of the Year award winner, Ulster University has an international reputation for its exceptional commitment to the growth of Chinese language learners in Northern Ireland as well as the development of academic, cultural, economic and social ties with China.
“In the spirit of our Confucius Institute, Ulster University’s support today enables Randox to access some of the best university-level Chinese speaking graduates currently available and more importantly offers students studying Chinese in Northern Ireland access to a unique career pathway with an exciting international employer that’s breaching new horizons.”
For more information about this event or about Randox recruitment in China please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com
This weekend we held our annual Farmers’ Breakfast, which recognises the continued support we receive from the local community. We brought local farmers, friends and neighbours together to share breakfast in our Randox headquarters in Crumlin, to look back over our organisation’s history, and to look forward to our future.
Seventy local Antrim and Crumlin residents attended the event on Saturday 4th February, during which breakfast was provided by Big Occasions Catering, based in Antrim near the new Randox Science Park.
The Randox Science Park’s £161 million investment, with 540 new jobs, will enhance Randox’s R&D and manufacturing operations, increasing global competitiveness.
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“The annual Randox Farmers’ Breakfast has become a highlight in our events calendar and every year is enjoyed by farmers, friends and neighbours in the area. Whilst a global company, Randox is rooted in the local community and we believe it is important to show our appreciation each year for the support we have received. This year, as we look to the future, and in particular to our first year of sponsorship of the Randox Health Grand National in April, we are delighted to share this event with those who are closest to us. A hearty breakfast, in the beautiful South Antrim countryside, provides a great platform to build and sustain friendships.”
For more information about the Randox Farmers’ Breakfast please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com