Blessington team responds to 112 call-outs
THE voluntary work of Blessington Community First Responders Unit (BCFRU) continued throughout 2017 with a total of 112 callouts attended, averaging at more than nine per month.
This brings the number attended by the group in Blessington and surrounding areas to 541 since its inception in 2005.
Managed by a volunteer team, the unit is mobilised to emergencies at the request of the National Ambulance Service.
As well as attending emergencies, the group also does a lot of work within the local community including training courses.
‘During 2017 we continued our public training to ensure members of the community not only have access to public defibrillators but are trained to the highest standards in using them should the need arise,’ said group coordinator Simon Taylor.
‘To facilitate this, we ran a number of public training courses, provided training to local community groups and trained the Blessington Community College fourth year TY students in Basic First Aid, including CPR and how to use a defibrillator. All the cost of facilitating these training sessions was paid for by the group’s fundraising activities. We increased our numbers of the public trained in CPR and defi- brillator use to 742 during 2017,’
Last year, the group continued its public access defibrillator (PAD) place- ment programme in the surrounding areas with the installation of a new PAD at Crosschapel Church.
The BCFRU funded this through its fundraising activities. As part of this, the group also held a training session for those living in the area in how to use the machine and in CPR.
BCFRU also continues to maintain the town’s existing public access defibrillators, replacing equipment including pads as necessary.
The volunteers also assisted Wicklow Community First Responder Group in training new CFR groups which set up in 2017.
Training took place over two week- ends in Glendalough and Laragh.
Mr Taylor explained that the Blessington volunteers engage in ongoing training throughout the year and upgrade equipment where possible.
‘As well as our public training we also held 10 training/upskilling sessions throughout the year for our own responders,’ said Mr Taylor.
‘Our equipment was also upgraded with the addition of new mannequins and a new Life Pak CR2 defibrillator and trainer, allowing us to train to the highest standard with the most up to date equipment.
‘We also redesigned our logo and updated our group shirts,’ he said.
Emma Hughes, Tina Kelly, Fr Kevin Lyon, Josephine Broderick and Simon Taylor at presentation of a public access defibrillator at Crosschapel.
Volunteers attend a training session in Ballymore Eustace.