A massive initiative to train a 100,000-strong army of lifesavers is underway as volunteers in Cork were honoured for reaching a milestone.
The members of the Glanmire Community First Responder (CFR) group have been presented with certificates to mark becoming the 200th CFR group to ‘go live’ as a dedicated asset under the National Ambulance Service’s (NAS) 999/112 emergency call system.
Trained members of CFR groups are dispatched by NAS ambulance control at the same time as an ambulance to incidents of chest pain, breathing difficulty, choking, stroke, and cardiac arrest. They are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and in the use of defibrillators.
The volunteers can respond to emergencies in their communities within minutes and often arrive on scene before NAS paramedics. And in critical and life-threatening situations where seconds count, their interventions have helped save lives.
Members of the Glanmire team were visited recently by NAS community engagement officer, Mark Callanan and by Iain Grant, the southern region representative of CFR Ireland, to thank them for setting up the group which has helped Cork become the county with has the highest number of CFR groups in the country.
The milestone comes as the IHF announced a raft of free CPR training courses for members of the public in Cork over the next two weeks as part of its huge Hands for Life initiative.
The initiative, which is supported by Abbott and ESB Networks, aims to provide free CPR training to 100,000 people in communities across Ireland.
The training, which takes about an hour and is open to adults aged 18 and over, will show attendees how to recognise a cardiac arrest, how to perform compressions, including hands-on practice on a CPR training manikin, how to use an automated external defibrillator, how to respond to a choking emergency, and how to recognise a stroke.
Brigid Sinnott, the IHF’s resuscitation manager, said having someone nearby who knows CPR and can start performing compressions quickly, can double or even triple a person’s chances of survival.
“We are on a mission to save lives. We want to create a nation of lifesavers by training as many people as possible in the lifesaving skill of CPR,” she said.
The training courses will take place in Delaney’s GAA Club on June 8, at 5pm, 6.30pm and 8pm; at Newcestown Community Centre on June 10 at 5pm, 6.30pm and 8pm; at Kilmacsimon Community Centre on June 13 at 5pm, 6.30pm and 8pm; at Ballingeary GAA Hall on June 15 at 10am, 11.30am and 1pm; and at Áras Íosagáin, CLG Naomh Abán, Baile Mhuirne on June 18 at 5pm, 6.30pm and 8pm.
Figures show that an average of 13 people die in Ireland every day from a cardiac arrest, with around 70% of these happening at home.
Full details on the Hands for Life training courses, and how to sign up for a local training course in Cork are on www.HandsForLife.ie.