Minister to launch Community First Responder Scheme next Monday

Next Monday afternoon Mallow Primary Health-care Centre will host the launch of the Doneraile, Buttevant, Mallow Community First Responder Scheme. The new initiative, which will see trained volunteers from the three localities dispatched to a series of emergency situations, will be launched by the Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr. Seán Sherlock, TD, at 3pm in the state-of-the-art health facility. The launch, which is in association with the HSE National Ambulance Service, will see a host of representatives from local political, business, community groups, HSE and local medical service providers coming out to support the scheme which will be at the frontline of providing faster access to the emergency care services.

The DBM Community First Responder Scheme, which has been in operation for the past four weeks and has already been instrumental in a large number of patients receiving speedy medical assistance, is not seen as a replacement for the ambulance service, but a scheme that will work hand-in-hand with the emergency departments.

Scheme co-ordinator Gerard Sheehan stated, “We are a volunteer service with almost 30 people at our disposal who are ready to help out if required. We use our own vehicles, and each team of responders will bring a defibrillator to the scene. The responders deal with cardiac arrest, choking, chest pain and stroke (CVA) incidents. All our calls come through the Ambulance Control 999 or 112 system.”

While there are already over 100 community res-ponder groups in operation around the country, the DBM scheme to be launched next Monday is one of the first to incorporate three localities under one umbrella.