Responder scheme a real community effort
ONE of the most ambitious voluntary healthcare projects ever initiated in north Cork is set come on stream next month.
The DBM (Doneraile, Buttevant and Mallow) Community Responder Scheme will consist of a team of volunteers on call 24/7 to respond to emergencies.
On Friday week pupils from 17 schools in the three areas will take part in a no uniform day to help raise funds for the first responder scheme, which is based on a similar, successful initiative running in Cork City.
Scheme co-ordinator Gerard Sheehan said the enthusiasm shown by pupils from the schools was indicative of the support the project had received from within the local communities.
"Even the smallest members of our society are coming together to help bring this initiative to fruition and for that we are truly grateful," said Mr Sheehan.
"The efforts of the schools and the pupils will mean this scheme can get off the ground sooner than later," he added.
Mr Sheehan outlined how the first responder scheme would work when it begins operations in February, saying each of the three areas would have a two person team on permanent standby.
"When ambulance control receives a call for a choking or cardiac arrest the nearest on-call team will be despatched to the incident. If an ambulance arrives first they will stand down, if not they will stabilise the patient until the ambulance arrives," said Mr Sheehan.
"The teams will be there to compliment the ambulance service, not replace it," he added.
While almost 30 volunteers have signed up for the service, Mr Sheehan said there would always be room for more.
"We will provide all newcomers with the necessary training. If anyone would like to get involved they can contact me on 087 3394727 or email me on email@example.com," he said.
Having worked on a similar scheme based at Blarney Street in Cork City, Mr Sheehan is only too aware of the important role it can play in an emergency.
"Early CPR is a vital link in the chain, and our hope is that we will be able to strengthen that link with our local, willing and trained volunteers," said Mr Sheehan.
"Some might argue that a scheme like this was just covering overt he cracks in the creaking health service, but we believe the DBM Responder Scheme is yet another example of a community coming together to help itself. Who would think that was not worth supporting?"