Sunday 19 January 2020

Greystones volunteers respond to 15 shouts per month

Another busy year for vital first responders

Members of Greystones First Responders and their supporters unveiling a defibrillator at Circle K in Rathdown in January
Members of Greystones First Responders and their supporters unveiling a defibrillator at Circle K in Rathdown in January

Greystones Community First Responders have been called out over 160 times in the past year, answering approximately 15 calls for help each month.

The group was set up in 2006 and currently has 22 volunteers willing to go on call each week. CFRs attend to patients in the Greystones area suffering from chest pain, stroke, collapse, choking and cardiac arrest.

'All our CFRs are amazing! They leave their dinner tables, shopping trollies, homes, work and even get out of their beds in the middle of the night to attend callouts,' said Margaret Duggan of Greystones CFR.

'We must never forget how vital the work they do is, even in situations where they simply sit with the patient and give support until the ambulance arrives. The assistance our CFRs give to not only the patients but to their relatives and friends, at which can be one of the most stressful times of the lives, is invaluable. Our average response time to a patient is eight minutes.'

In the past 11 months, Greystones CFR's received 163 call-outs.

'On average we receive 15 callouts per month,' said Margaret.

'Our three most common call-outs are in relation to chest pain, collapse and stroke. We only have 22 responders covering our roster but because of their dedication and commitment, we have cover almost 24/7,' she said.

'This year we were delighted to have four new recruits join our group. There is a real team spirit in Greystones, we still have some founding members in the group and many others who have been with us for almost ten years.'

Over the last four years, Greystones CFRs have been instrumental in getting Public Access Defibrillators put up in outdoor cabinets around Greystones.

These are defibrillators that are accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

'Having access to a defibrillator and training as many people as possible in their use is vital to our community,' said Margaret. 'If CPR is started within three minutes of a patient going into cardiac arrest, their chance of survival increases to 70 per cent. We ask that people living or working in Greystones learn CPR and familiarise themselves with the location of these defibrillators.'

They are in either a green or yellow cabinets in the following locations: Donnybrook Fair, SuperValu Charlesland, the wall between SuperValu and Mrs Robinsons, Beach House Pub, Circle K Rathdown, Day Break Eden Gate, Farrelly's Butchers Delgany, Greystones Sailing Club, Carrig Pub and The Burnaby Pub.

'We would especially like to thank all these businesses for allowing us to use their premises to locate this life saving equipment,' said Margaret.

'Not only do these wonderful volunteers go on call each week but they also give up their spare time to train pupils in our primary and secondary schools, members of Parish Groups, scouts, guides and many more members of our community in CPR. For example, every year around 40 Transition Year students from St David's Secondary School are certified in CPR and AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).'

The group also hold a training day down at the harbour in Greystones every July showing members of the public how to do CPR and use an AED.

A volunteer checks each unit every Friday night, ensuring they are in working order and all parts in date.

'Our group is self-financing and we really appreciate the wonderful support the Greystones Community gives to us at our annual pub quiz and collection in Tesco.

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Bray People