Bless­ing­ton team re­sponds to 112 call-outs

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

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.

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