Rathangan Volunteers trained to save lives

a team of 21 volunteers are now ready to respond to medical emergencies in Rathangan, thanks to the local first responder initiative.

a team of 21 volunteers are now ready to respond to medical emergencies in Rathangan, thanks to the local first responder initiative.

Last week, Rathangan Community Alert Group (RCAB) announced the installation of a defibrillator in a heated cabinet at the day care centre. The first responders group underwent a defibrillator training course in August and received their certificates at the new Core Group Community Development office (the old Credit Union) last Wednesday October 10.

RCAB chairman, Martin Shiel stressed; “The population figures in Rathangan are something like 2,700 and this is a badly needed facility. It is there for everybody and we are delighted it is up and running.”

Garda Stephen Brennan presented the certificates to the volunteers which also included GAA members from Rathangan and Ellistown who have defibrilators at their grounds. RCAB plan to purchase a second defibrillator, which will be carried by a first responder on a rostered basis. The group is signing up to the National Ambulance Service Scheme. This means when they receive an emergency call for chest pain, or symptoms relating to heart attack or choking, the control centre will dispatch an ambulance, but it will also text the first responder on duty to attend the scene with the defibrillator.

It is anticipated the first responder will reach the location within six to eight minutes while the ambulance will take thirty to forty minutes. The earlier arrival of the first responder will significantly enhance the survival prospects of the victim. The ambulance crew will then take over. RCAB emphasised members of the community should always ring 999 or 112 if they have a medical emergency and they will contact the Regional Ambulance Control Centre.

The group would like to acknowledge grant aid received from Cill Dara Ar Aghaidh, which is financed by the Government. Martin Shiel thanked all involved with the first responders scheme, the volunteers and Chairperson and Co-ordinator of the group, Joe Cully. Martin said that RCAB were grateful for the donation of E1000 euro from Newbridge Rotary Club, which was acquired by Raymond Conlan.

RCAB’s Seamus O’Donohue informed the meeting how the ‘Text Alert Messaging System’ system works and its benefits. The group is producing a leaflet explaining the first responder scheme and the texting system.

- Niamh O’Donoghue