Two of County Wicklow’s 32 groups of Community First Responders were honoured on September 8 for their outstanding volunteer service at a ceremony.
The Greystones and Newcastle groups of Community First Responders (CFR) came together to receive special medals and certificates from the National Ambulance Service in recognition of their selfless service to the community.
The National Ambulance Service wished to recognise the significant work by CFRs across the country in presenting them with recognition to mark their valued contribution to society.
Greystones and Newcastle CFR have over the last two years donated thousands of hours to their respective communities. The volunteers have carried out acts as varied as swab preparation, people management at vaccination centres, arriving first on scene to incidents, and providing life saving emergency CPR at the side of the road.
Margaret Duggan of Greystones CFR said: “We’re 16 years in existence. We’re going all the time. We can get to a patient in five or six minutes, the ambulance may take 10 or 12 minutes to arrive. This time saving can make all the difference in a case of cardiac arrest.”
She is especially proud of those responders who went out on call during the pandemic before there were vaccinations: “They were very brave putting their lives potentially at risk.”
Margaret concluded by saying: “We are always on the look out for new members. There is great training and support given and most volunteers commit to a minimum of five hours a week, 20 hours per month, depending on circumstances. Many would take the emergency responders medical bag overnight, or even for 24 hours.”
Margaret thanked the communities of Greystones and Newcastle for all their support.
Potential Greystones Community First Responders can find out more through the group’s self titled Facebook page and on other social media, to arrange meeting up for a chat.