First Responder volunteers wanted to help save lives in their community

By Mary Dennehy

A COMMUNITY First Responders group for the Tallaght Central area is being established, with a call being made for volunteers willing to be trained on CPR and defibrillation.

Community First Responders (CFR) is a national movement, which involves independent groups established within communities responding to 999 cardiac arrest calls within their area.

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Jean Carroll and Nuala Byrne 

When a 999 cardiac arrest call is made, the local CFR group is dispatched alongside the ambulance service and, due to volunteers living in the area, they can make it to a person experiencing a cardiac arrest, chest pain or difficulty in breathing before an ambulance.

According to charity CFR Ireland, the national first responders network, because people on call (responders) live or work in their area, they can respond in minutes and provide emergency measures and reassurance until the ambulance service arrives.

CFR Tallaght Central will cover the area from Greenhills Road to Seskin View and Tallaght Village to the M50 – which inlcudes estates such as Glenview, Balrothery, Tymon North, Millbrook Lawns and Avonbeg.

According to Nuala Byrne, founding member of CFR Tallaght Central with friend Jean Carroll: “This is about local people helping local people.

“There is also an aging population in Tallaght Central, and having a local CFR is important.”

We need volunteers

Nuala and Jean, who teach first aid as their jobs, stressed that no experience is required for those interested in becoming a Community First Reponder – full, certified training given.

“We need volunteers to come forward who are willing to be responders,” Nuala said.

“People do not need any prior training – we will train all volunteers on CPR and defibrillation.”

She added: “Ambulance services are so stretched that there may not be an ambulance available at the time of a 999 call.

“When a 999 call comes into the call centre, they will contact us and we’ll respond.

“Responders are located close by within the community and can respond to the person within minutes – and we can try to work towards increasing recovery outcomes for cardiac arrests in the area.”

According to Nuala, once volunteers come forward, a committee for CFR Tallaght Central can be established and the team can then start its fundraising drive to buy first aid equipment and defibrillators.

There is also Government grants available for CFR teams.

For further information contact the Tallaght Central CFR Facebook page.

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