Pilot scheme for ‘first responders’ training has potential to save lives

By Laura Lyne

THE first meeting of a new Community First Responder (CFR) group for residents in Kilnamanagh was held last Wednesday in St Kevin’s boys school with representatives from the National Ambulance Service and CFR Ireland in attendance to talk to the group.

Around 15 people were in attendance at the meeting to learn about the CFR scheme, which is to be piloted in Kilnamanagh in the new year with the potential to expand to other areas of Tallaght if it is successful.

kilnamanagh cfr group

Two Kilnamanagh residents will lead the group – Jake Riddell, who runs a kickboxing club in the area and Niall Conroy, a doctor who is currently studying for a PhD in UCD, will act as co-ordinator and medical director for the group.

Niall told The Echo: “CFR schemes involve the community providing some assistance to the ambulance service when someone in the locality has a cardiac arrest or they are choking.

“It’s important to stress that this is not a replacement for the ambulance service, who do a really fantastic job in Tallaght.

“Research shows that the sooner a person in cardiac arrest receives CPR or a shock from the defibrillator, the better chance they have of survival.

“So, by establishing the CFR group, the ambulance service has tapped into the fact that people living close by can usually be at the scene in a matter of minutes.

“All of this is important when you consider that for every minute a person in cardiac arrest receives no intervention, their chance of survival drops by seven to ten per cent.

“In these situations, minutes really do count. Once the ambulance arrives, they take over, as they are the real experts in this area.

“The CFR group just aims to act as a stop-gap, so the resuscitation process happens as early as possible.”
To begin the scheme, the group needs to fundraise to purchase a defibrillator in the new year.

Niall said: “We hope that the group will be up and running properly in the new year. Before that, we need to train local volunteers in CPR and defibrillator use.

“Then we need to fundraise approximately €2,000 so that we can buy a defibrillator and various other pieces of equipment that we need.

“In the long term, when our group is up and running, we’d like to support people from other areas of Tallaght in setting up groups.

“If we could eventually have CFR groups around Tallaght, that would be a very valuable local service.”
Residents from Kilnamanagh looking to get involved with the Community First Responder group can contact Niall and Jake at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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