Minutes can mean the difference between life and death when it comes to medical emergencies.
And, to that end, a new service – run by a selfless band of volunteers – is about to be launched in Counties Armagh and Tyrone.
The Community First Responders will be able to offer potentially life-saving treatment to patients until such times as an ambulance arrives.
The fantastic initiative has gained registered charity status.
It is due to launch at an event in Moy next Friday, May 12.
All of the equipment is now in place.
And the first 25 volunteers to sign up to the service have now completed their full training and are about to ‘go live’.
A spokesperson for Community First Responders Armagh and Tyrone said the launch is due to take place at the Ryandale, the The Square in Moy.
He explained: “The Community First Responders service (Armagh & Tyrone) are a team of volunteers who share a vision of being able to render appropriate and effective CPR, defibrillation and first aid to causalities suffering
immediately life-threatening conditions in those critical ‘golden’ minutes while waiting for a 999 Northern
Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) paramedic to arrive at the scene.
“We are increasingly aware that the NIAS’s ‘rather ambitious’ target of eight minutes for a Category A immediately
life-threatening emergency is perhaps an unrealistic expectation for a rural community such as ours, and
therefore, if we are to improve the outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest and other similar immediately life-threatening conditions, a local solution needed to be developed.”
He said that all funding and equipment is now in place and the Community First Responders was successfully registered as a charity by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland in January 2017, something which he described as a “true recognition of the potential value our services can make to our rural communities”.
The spokesperson said the launch event would provide an opportunity to present the certificates and equipment to the 25 volunteers, and to recognise the commitment and dedication to their training, in addition to raising awareness of this local service.
Light refreshments will be provided and anyone wishing to attend is asked to confirm via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The launch is open to all, and it is hoped it will be particularly well supported by the local business community. It is due to get underway at 7pm.