Sunday 21 July 2019

North Cork first responders set to take on 'marathon' challenge

Groups set to come together for a big push to raise awareness of their value

Bill Browne

A trio of north Cork based Community First Responders (CFR) groups are set to join forces to take on a marathon challenge as part of a big push aimed at highlighting the schemes and their value to their respective local communities.

The Ballyclough, DBM (Doneraile, Buttevant & Mallow) and Liscarroll groups will host a family fun day at Mallow Racecourse on April 27, during which members, along with fire fighters and Gardaí, will push a fully equipped ambulance the distance of a full marathon - all 26.2 miles of it. 

A spokesperson for the initiative said a comprehensive programme of activities have been put together for the day "from farming to fashion - and everything in between." 

"We will have something for everyone, including CPR demonstrations and children's entertainment." 

The spokesperson said the aim of the event was to promote the CFR schemes in the north Cork area and highlight their work so that the public have a greater awareness of their role in assisting the National Ambulance Service (NAS) at heart attack, stoke, cardiac arrest and choking incidents.

To put this into some form of context the groups, which are comprised of volunteers drawn from the local communities, have between them attended around 1,000 incidents since 2014. 

Their modus operandi is as simple as it is effective with responders, who are fully trained by PHECC instructors under the Irish Heart Foundation and attend regular classes to keep their skill up to date, on call 24/7, 365 days of the year. 

Each responder on call carries a defibrillator and medical bag and  is  tasked by the NAS control centre to the scene of an incident when a 999 call is received. If an ambulance tasked at the same time arrives to the scene first the responders will stand down. If not the team will treat and stabilise the patient until the ambulance team arrive. All volunteers use their own cars to attend calls and are covered by their own insurance policies. 

"Our aim is to get more volunteers and teach vital life-saving skills to members of our communities. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact the CFR scheme in their area or visit their respective Facebook pages," said the spokesperson.