Monday 19 February 2018

Ballycanew CFR goes live

Karen Crehan, Leona Kehoe, John Carroll, Pat Redmond, Martina Redmond and Olive Furney
Karen Crehan, Leona Kehoe, John Carroll, Pat Redmond, Martina Redmond and Olive Furney

Fintan Lambe

After nine months of preparation, training and fundraising, the Ballycanew Community First Responders (CFR) are now 'live.'

This means they are on standby to assist the HSE by providing first response on the scene, should there be an emergency in the area. The twelve volunteers are fully trained in CPR and in the use of a defibrillator (AED).

'We provide a first responder service within 4km of Ballycanew, covering Ballycanew itself, and out to areas including Killenagh, Ballyfoley, and Ballyoughter,' said the group's coordinator John Carroll.

'If someone in our coverage area calls 999 reporting a cardiac arrest, stroke, choking, or chest pain, an ambulance will be dispatched, and will also get a text message on the CFR phone,' he said. 'Because we live in the area, the idea is we can attend the emergency quicker than the ambulance can, and we can provide first response before the ambulance arrives.'

'Our volunteers receive full training in the use of an AED and in CPR, and are fully garda vetted,' he added. 'We have regular refresher courses so each volunteer is competent in their ability to respond professionally in the event of a call from the National Ambulance Dispatch Service.'

'The more volunteers we have available to us, the better service we can give to the community,' he said. 'Our aim is to be in a position to provide 24-hour cover for the area in the future, once we have enough volunteers available to cover a 24-hour rota.'

'For the moment we will provide as much cover as a volunteer rota can sustain,' he continued. 'We are always in a position to recruit new volunteers'.

To volunteer to become a first responder with Ballycanew CFR, contact John on 087 0541408. All training will be provided.

The group sent its sincere thanks to all who helped the group achieve its aim of going live, either by fundraising or by helping with training over the past nine months.

Training certifies volunteers to be a first responder for two years, and regular refresher courses are also held.

Gorey Guardian

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