Saturday 15 December 2018

Rapid Response team attended 225 calls in 2017

Wicklow Rapid Response Statistics for 2017
Wicklow Rapid Response Statistics for 2017

Deborah Coleman

Last year was a very busy one for the life-saving Wicklow Rapid Response (WWRR) service which was tasked 225 times over the 12 month period.

The volunteer service responds to emergency calls around County Wicklow at the requests of the National Ambulance Service.

In 2017, in excess of 200 patients were treated for a variety of complaints stemming from accidents and illness, including 30 cardiac arrests, of which five survived to hospital discharge with a complete recovery; 17 paediatric cases; 40 road traffic collisions; four multiple casualty incidents; two agricultural injuries and one stabbing.

In addition to responding rapidly due to being available in the community, the WWRR doctor is also able to bring additional specialist skills and treatments to patients.

In 2017, these included nine General Anaesthetics, inducing a medical coma to place a patient on life support to protect their airway in cases of severe head injury or where a patient is deeply unconscious.

Not all casualties required hospitalisation. Twenty-six patients were discharged at scene avoiding the need to transport them to the Emergency Department, thus freeing up ambulance resources and Emergency Department capacity.

'Bringing the hospital to the patient is what Wicklow Rapid Response is all about. There are people alive today due to the treatment that a specialist Emergency Medicine doctor can provide. Wicklow Rapid Response is one of only four such services currently providing this level of care in Ireland,' said Wicklow Rapid Response Chairman Colm Dempsey.

Wicklow Rapid Response is a voluntary organisation which aims to provide near-intensive critical care level treatment to local communities in the pre-hospital environment, where there are life-threatening circumstances.

The volunteer emergency medical doctor, who specialises in pre-hospital emergency medicine, using the Skoda Yeti Rapid Response vehicle to respond, is declared as a National Ambulance Service asset. He is called simultaneously with the ambulance, when a serious emergency, such as a cardiac arrest or major trauma, occurs.

Wicklow Rapid Response receives no statutory funding and is completely dependant on donations to support the service.

For more information or to make a contribution visit

Wicklow People