Castleblayney First Responders poised to go live!

May 16, 2016

Following on from the successful establishment of the Crossmaglen & District Community First Responders group –  which began operating last November – another local first responders initiative has managed to get off the ground to provide a vital lifeline to its community. The Castleblayney Community First Responders (CFR) will go live on the 27th May, exactly a year after the group held its first public meeting lobbying for support and volunteers for the life-saving project. The trained volunteers will be dispatched by the National Ambulance Service control centre to attend medical emergencies within a 5km radius of Castleblayney, to provide treatment to casualties while awaiting the arrival of appropriate emergency services.

In rural and isolated areas, the existence of such an initiative can mean the difference between life and death while a casualty awaits emergency medical help. First Responders deal with medical emergencies such as victims of heart attacks, strokes, choking, seizures, and are not deployed to attend trauma calls or dangerous situations.

The Castleblayney Community First Responders have completed rigorous training over the last year to become emergency responders and are now readily available to be dispatched at the same time as an ambulance to provide potentially life saving assistance.

The first responders team and its supporters have worked tirelessly since its inception in April last year, holding a raft of fundraising events to raise much needed funds for the training of its volunteers and the necessary life -saving equipment needed to fulfill their roles. Its “Save a life a month” campaign, generated an overwhelming response from individuals and businesses in the community of Castleblayney who donated generously towards the worthy initiative. The group received a major boost last August with the installation of Castleblayney’s first Public Access Defibrillator and to date various businesses and organisations have come together to donate items to the emergency kits used by the first responders.  One such donation came from the Bank of Ireland “Be At Your Best” Scheme last December, which saw a defibrillator machine given to the volunteers by the National Ambulance Service.

Speaking to The Examiner after news of the impending live launch of the initiative, Co-ordinator of Castleblayney CFR, Gerry Ward thanked the community of Castleblayney for all their help, support and donations over the last year and he extended special thanks to the many businesses and organisations who so generously donated to the project and NB Training Services Castleblayney for their expertise in training First Responder volunteers.

Crossmaglen man, Damien Martin, who spearheaded the campaign to create a First Responders team in Crossmaglen, said he was pleased to see the same initiative established in Castleblayney and, on behalf of the Crossmaglen And District Community First Responders, he wished the Castleblayney CFR well and said they looked forward to working with the team in future training sessions.