A NEW Community First Responder (CFR) group has been activated following months of training to deal with certain types of emergency calls. Covering a 10km radius from Clashganny that encompasses Goresbridge, Borris, Rathanna, Ballymurphy, Graignamanagh, Glynn and St Mullins, the South Carlow Community First Responders is a group of volunteers from various backgrounds who have come together to support their local community.

The aim of the group is to reach a potential life-threatening emergency such as cardiac arrest, heart attack, choking or stroke in the first vital minutes and to stabilise the patient until the highly-skilled members of the National Ambulance Service arrive to take over treatment and transport the patient to the hospital. In most cases, the first responders will be on the scene within minutes. This early attendance could mean the difference between life and death for the casualty, especially if they have suffered a cardiac arrest and require immediate life-saving interventions.

Sheila Ellard, chairperson of South Carlow CFR, said: “We have been training intensely since last autumn and are delighted to be now going live. The response and support we have received so far from businesses and the community has been amazing, but we know that there is still loads to be done in terms of awareness and fundraising for vital equipment to support the work of the first responders. Donations of any size are most welcome and can be made through our website; additionally, get in touch with us on SouthCarlowCFR@gmail.com.”

In the event of an emergency, people are reminded to dial 999, and depending on your emergency, a CFR may be alerted and dispatched, where available, to reach the patient in advance and support the ambulance team when it arrives.

South Carlow CFR is comprised of 12 volunteers from the local community and local support is vital towards assisting the group on a number of levels. Donations are vital to fund equipment such as defibrillators, while people may also consider placing a device in their business or local area. People should also be aware of their nearest defibrillator as it could make a huge difference in an emergency. People can share the word about South Carlow CFR on Instagram and its website is www.southcarlowCFR.ie.

The coverage area of the South Carlow Community First Responder group