Volunteers sought in Lisgoold/Leamlara for new Community First Responders Group

By Alan Sheehan

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Residents of the Lisgoold/Leamlara area are looking to put together a Community First Responders (CFR) group in order to supplement the ambulance service in the locality.

Supported by the Lisgoold/Leamlara community council, one resident Edwin O’Sullivan is looking for volunteers to help establish a permanent CFR group within the community to work for the community.

“The idea came about after hearing of a number of incidents within the Lisgoold/Leamlara area,” said Mr O’Sullivan, who is spearheading the organisation of the group. “Being part of a CFR group previously, I knew after hearing the stories that it would have been a call that would have been passed to a CFR group from the 999 dispatchers. After learning there was no such group I approached the local community committee and put the proposal to them and now have their full backing.”

Community First Responders are volunteers trained as a minimum in basic life support and the use of a defibrillator, who respond to actual or potentially life-threatening emergencies within a pre-defined geographical area such as a village. CFR groups act as a vital early link in the out-of-hospital chain of survival, a five-step process which if followed greatly increases the chance of a successful resuscitation and recovery, and respond to medical emergencies as part of the HSE’s 999 dispatch system.

“Living in the country has its own drawbacks with regards to ambulance arrival times, availability and finding the patient’s house or location,” said Mr O’Sullivan. “No one knows the local area like a member of the community and this knowledge is vital in responding to calls. The CFR group will ultimately bridge the time gap from the dispatching of an ambulance to the arrival of an ambulance or doctor at the scene. This early intervention is crucial to the survival of any patient.”

Applicants must be aged 18 and over and hold a full driving licence, but do not need any previous medical training to volunteer with a Community First Responders group. CFR groups train their own members, usually first qualifying them in CPR administration, operation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), dealing with chest pains, choking and strokes. Once qualified members of CFRs undergo internal training throughout the year.

I have had previous experience in setting up a CFR group in another community which is still going strong,” said Mr O’Sullivan. “Also East Cork Rapid Response has also offered there assistance in the training and setting up of the group. If people wanted to contact me directly and I can give further information regarding all that is involved, or they can visit www.cfr.ie for more information.”

Mr O’Sullivan can be contacted at 087 677 2847 or at edwinosullivan@hotmail.com.

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