Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Emergency Responders group shortlisted for top award

The Crossmaglen and District Community First Responders group has been shortlisted for a top award in the UK Heart Safe Awards for 2016, The Examiner has learned.

Having officially launched in November of last year, the Responders, who are volunteer members of the community, have attended more than 20 emergency callouts across the area and instigated the provision of ten defibrillators throughout the community.

Undergoing intensive training overseen by the NI Ambulance Service, volunteers aim to provide immediate care to patients and are mobilized by Ambulance Control responding to 999 calls.

Local man, Damian Martin, spearheaded the campaign to establish the group and says it is deeply humbling to be considered for such a prestigious award.

“I am extremely humbled to have received notification that we have been shortlisted for a major UK HeartSafe Award for 2016,” he said.  “I would like to thank everyone who supported me and our volunteers from the start.  There was tough days and long meetings, but it has been worth every minute to see the lives each of our volunteers have saved, and the recognition from a UK National Awards body for all the dedication and commitment by each of our volunteers in ensuring that our wee town in the north of Ireland really is a heart-safe place to live.”

Serving an area of approximately 3 mile radius of their base – which could be their home or place of work- responders can attend the scene of a medical emergency in a very short time and are trained to provide emergency life support while patients await the ambulance service.  The group continually, actively recruits new volunteers and anyone wishing to become involved in this life-saving local service can make contact through its Facebook page or at any of the recruitment events held in the community.