Crossmaglen First Responders First Anniversary celebration event

October 31, 2016

The Crossmaglen Community and District First Responders group will celebrate its first anniversary this weekend with a night of “craic agus ceol” in the Cross Square Hotel on Saturday at 7pm. The free event is open to all and promises to be a great night of celebration with a raffle, refreshments and music provided by Cathal McKeown.

The commitment and dedication of the Crossmaglen First Responders, ordinary men and women who are trained to respond to urgent medical situations to provide treatment to casualties while awaiting the arrival of appropriate emergency services, has been heralded as inspirational since the group first launched in November last year.  In rural and isolated areas such as Crossmaglen and the surrounding district, the existence of such an initiative can mean the difference between life and death while a casualty awaits emergency medical help and, given the often inadequate ambulance response times throughout the area, the scheme has received resounding support from the local community and political representatives.

After 12 months of operation the team are ready to celebrate and recognise the hard work and commitment of everyone who has supported the group in any way and the volunteers who provide this vital lifeline in the heart of South Armagh.

Speaking on behalf of the group ahead of Saturday’s event, Damien Martin, First Responders Co-ordinator said the team were particularly proud to have been able to help 33 families within the local community in the first year of service and hoped to continue to provide emergency assistance with the help of additional volunteers for many years to come.

The First Responders are currently looking for new members to join their group training for new members which will commence in the next few weeks. If you are looking a new challenge in life and would like to help your community they would love to hear from you.

For more information email or message them on the Crossmaglen and District Community First Responders Facebook page.

Letter to the Editor – First Responders First Birthday

Dear Sir,

We are now approaching the end of the first year in existence of the Crossmaglen First Responders Group and we thought it appropriate to mark the occasion by congratulating the individuals who so generously give of their time and undertake training, in order to help protect the lives and health of their neighbours and the local community.

Crossmaglen is situated 16 miles from the nearest Ambulance station at Daisy Hill Hospital. Despite the very best efforts of Ambulance Personnel, it is inevitable that standard response times to major medical emergencies cannot be met on every occasion. The existence of a highly trained local volunteer group who are prepared to try and fill the gap until a paramedic team arrives, will undoubtedly, over time, make the difference between life and death for some of our neighbours and family members.

We strongly encourage people who are willing to undertake this role to come forward and make themselves available for training. The more people who volunteer the less onerous the task for all concerned. Those people who feel they would not have the temperament for active work responding to emergencies could also find a role in supporting and fundraising.

Signed, on behalf of the local medical practices,

Dr Brid Allen,

Dr Martin Deane,

Dr Margaret Fee,

Dr Kevin Allen,

Dr Patrick Fee.