Community 'first responders' breathing life back into Newport

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan


Community 'first responders' breathing life back into Newport

Majella Coffey, Jodie Lenihan, Claire Armstrong, Michelle Toner, Jenny Darcy

AS AMBULANCES take “too long” to get to Newport due to geography a group of locals set up a community first responder (CFR) group in 2015.

Since then, the volunteers have responded to 46 incidents and currently have responders in a 5km radius of the town. Newport CFR have received a €5,000 charitable donation which will allow them to purchase their first two automated external defibrillators and heated cabinets.

The money was  awarded by eir through its corporate social responsibility investment programme. The donation will also help responders become Irish Heart Foundation certified trainers, which will assist in allowing Newport CFR to roll out its “Project Saving Lives”, thereby making an enormous difference to the likelihood of saving someone’s life in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Claire Armstrong, chairperson of Newport CFR, said they are extremely grateful to eir for choosing to support its saving lives project.

“This money will allow us to purchase two public access AEDs (automatic external defibrillators) and place them in prominent positions within the town. As such, this will greatly increase the likelihood of saving someone’s life in Newport in the event of a cardiac arrest,” said Claire.

Currently, cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in Ireland - 33%. Early response is essential in helping to save lives and Newport CFR’s sights are set high with the aim of training one member of every local household by 2020. Over time, they plan to expand their role from primarily first-aid driven to encompass health promotion and preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke

Michelle Toner, head of eir’s corporate social responsibility, said Newport CFR carry out an incredibly important service in their community.

”They are often the first on the scene when a cardiac arrest occurs and they have educated hundreds of children in life saving CPR skills. With this new equipment and training that vital service will continue to grow, helping many more people and we are proud to help ‘Project Saving Lives’ through the eir fund,” said Michelle.