Filmed in multiple locations, the documentary follows a typical day for those who make it their mission to monitor, patrol rescue and respond to danger.
Around 100,000 people- or 5% of the workforce- work in a job involving safety. This includes An Garda Síochana, lifeguards, door supervisors, driving instructors, hospital hygiene attendants, air traffic controllers, self defence experts and motorway crash recovery drivers.
Every day, and every night, this army of people drawn from all walks of life work on the frontline – and out of public view – to keep us safe.
The morning shift begins at 6 am in the control tower at Dublin airport, where Liz Burke already has her hands full with a medical emergency. One in every three planes entering Irish airspace will arrive or depart from Ireland’s busiest airport, otherwise known as base of operations for Liz and her fellow air traffic controllers.
“First thing in the morning is busy, it’s hectic, it’s difficult. But I enjoy that,” Liz says. “I’m looking at the screens and the information on there, but it’s mainly looking out the tower window. It’s a little bit like Tetris sometimes!”
* Every day in Ireland, up to 2200 planes can enter Irish airspace. On just One Day, Irish air traffic controllers will also keep 375,000 passengers safe.
By 10 am, martial arts expert Aidan Carroll is busy putting his new recruits through their paces at Hard Target Self Defence in Donabate, Co Dublin. He has been teaching self defence for over 20 years and instructs his pupils with plastic knives, fake guns and body armour suits. For him, it’s all about avoiding a confrontation in the first place.
“One of the things I often say to people when they come in is I’m going to teach you how not to fight. That always raises a few eyebrows,” he says. “Violence is very rarely the answer, but when it is, it’s the only answer.”
*Sixty crimes – involving physical assault and robbery – take place in Ireland… on just One Day.
While most people are getting ready for lunch, University Hospital Limerick theatre hygiene attendant Monica Griffin is on standby for her next big cleaning job. By mid morning, she has already scrubbed, mopped and stocked up her home from home- the hospital’s Theatre 2. For her, stopping the spread of infection is all about attention to detail.
“I know it looks clean and I’m cleaning a clean area, but we don’t see any of the infections”, she says. “It would be a handy job if people just stopped touching things in the theatre. It wouldn’t take as long then.”
* In Ireland, on just One Day, 670 patients can have a hospital acquired infection. Staff at University Hospital Limerick will get also through almost eight hundred litres of disinfectant a day in the fight against infection.
By mid afternoon on the M50 motorway, crash recovery technician Keith Kelly’s biggest concern is navigating rush hour traffic caused by “rubberneckers” and other examples of poor driver behaviour. His priority is to keep traffic flowing on Ireland’s busiest motorway.
“My job involves anything from a breakdown to a serious collision involving trucks, buses, army tanks. Anything that’s on the road we could get a call for, including fatalities,” Keith says. “With the amount of service stations that are just off this motorway, the mind boggles how anyone could run out of fuel on this road.”
*On One Day, we’ll take half a million trips on Dublin’s M50 motorway. Ten broken down vehicles a day will also be towed to a safe location.
By 9pm in Naas, Co Kildare, the evening shift is well under way for Garda Elaine Byrne. Her patrol car will cover 150 kilometres or more every day in a district that has both rural and urban areas. Over the course of her One Day, she will set up a rolling checkpoint, respond to emergency calls- and patrol Naas town centre as closing time approaches.
“If something’s about to kick off you get a sense of that in the atmosphere,” she says.
*In just One Day, 225 public order incidents – and 80 arrests – are recorded by Gardaí. At peak times, around 400 Garda checkpoints a day will also take place across the country.
Some Extra Facts on Keeping Ireland Safe:
Air Traffic Control
· Irish air traffic controllers will keep 375,000 passengers safe on just One Day.
· 2,200 planes can enter Irish airspace on One Day.
· One in three will arrive or depart from Ireland’s busiest airport.
· Traffic controllers at Dublin airport can clear 115,000 passengers for take off…and landing, all in One Day.
· In Ireland, 670 patients can have a hospital acquired infection, on One Day.
· Staff at University Hospital Limerick will use almost 800 litres of disinfectant to scrub, mop and wipe surfaces clean in just One Day.
· Staff and patients in University Hospital Limerick will get through over 1,000 kilos of clinical waste, all in One Day.
· 60 crimes involving physical assault and robbery take place in Ireland on just One Day.
M50 Motorway/ Road safety
· On One Day, we’ll take half a million trips on Dublin’s M50 motorway.
· Recovery vehicles attend 20 incidents on the M50 every Day. 10 broken down vehicles a day will be towed to a safe location.
· M50 staff will travel more than 3,000 kilometres a day rescuing stranded motorists on Ireland’s busiest motorway.
· 16 collisions involving casualties will take place on our roads, in just one Day.
· Across Ireland, 14,000 door supervisors will check ID’s and keep revellers safe in pubs and nightclubs.
· In Ireland, in One Day, we’ll spend two and a half million euro on drink in pubs, clubs and restaurants.
· Gardaí will answer 1,200 emergency calls from the public in just One Day.
· In just One Day, 225 public order incidents – and 80 arrests – are recorded by Gardaí.
· At peak times, around 400 Garda checkpoints a day will take place across the country.