THE PARISH Defibrillator Group expects to have the First Responder scheme up and running at the end of January.
The group are to link in with the HSE in the scheme that is operating in a small number of places and is envisaged to be rolled out across the country next year.
Des Kelly, Co-ordinator for the Scheme, attended a meeting recently with the local group who aim to provide 24 hour call out cover to attend emergencies in the parish in the event of their trained services and knowledge being needed.
These services involve the trained use of defibrillator machines, application of CPR and other resuscitation methods, and helping people with the like of stroke symptoms or simply providing comfort to the patient until the ambulance personnel and paramedics arrive.
The local group have 70 qualified or trained up volunteers in the use of defibrillators since it was established. However not all would be able to take part in this new HSE First Responder Scheme so they are seeking more volunteers as they draw up a rota to be on standby in the event of a call out from the ambulance service.
This will entail the volunteer responder agreeing to be available for a part of the day or night during which they would have possession of a dedicated telephone supplied by the HSE to be contacted where they could help in the event of a 999 emergency.
Ambulance control will alert a local responder to attend the scene and apply their training and knowledge. Under the new system
professional the on call volunteer will be equipped with a mobile defibrillator to use if required.
The responder can take along a family member or somebody to accompany them, and are covered by insurance while attending an incident.
The Parish Group has operated on a stand alone basis since it was inaugurated, with the twin purpose of securing as many of the life saving machines as possible and locating them at strategic locations, and training or enrolling those already trained to volunteer to use their skills in the event of an emergency.
The group has been very successful acquiring five machines through mainly fundraising, and they have been installed at what is regarded as the most advantageous places in the parish.