CRITICAL has established a new Community First Responder group in Carrick on Suir, which will cover areas in counties Tipperary, Waterford and Kilkenny.

CRITICAL is Ireland’s leading Volunteer Emergency Medical Response charity and its mission is to save lives through a network of Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders.

The new Community First Responder group will cover an area spanning ten kilometres outside of Carrick on Suir.   Set up just six weeks ago, the new group has already responded to 21 emergency 999 calls including cardiac arrests, stroke, heart problems, and breathing difficulties.

On the launch of the new group, David Tighe, CEO of CRITICAL, said, “It is wonderful to see the expansion of the charity in Carrick on Suir, serving the community and surrounding area. We’ve already seen the impact the CRITICAL CFR Carrick on Suir group has had in such a short space of time. They provide a vital service to the community.”

The group currently number eleven active responders from all walks of life, and the team may soon be expanding.  Volunteers include local businesspeople, personnel from the National Ambulance Service, members of the financial sector, and a retained firefighter.  

CRITICAL has provided the group with the lifesaving equipment they need to respond to medical emergencies in their local areas, including defibrillators, diagnostic equipment, and airway kits. 

Adam Hunt, the coordinator of the CRITICAL CFR Carrick-on-Suir group, has volunteered with similar organisations and initiatives for over a decade. He has 12 years of experience with the Irish Red Cross and brings extensive pre-hospital experience to support the group’s members and the wider community. 

He stated, “We’re all happy to be able to help in our community and we’re so grateful to CRITICAL for bringing together this group of volunteers who now have the necessary training and equipment to assist in our local area.  We are delighted with the response so far and we think our community is too.  Over time, the town of Carrick on Suir and  the surrounding areas will really see the benefit of our group.”

To raise much needed funds for the volunteer service, Faugheen Road Racing Club in conjunction with Carrick on Suir Motor Club are hosting a Classic Motorsport Show in Faugheen, a village close to Carrick on Suir on Saturday, July 20th from 11am to 5pm. Proceeds from the day will go to the CRITICAL group who will be onsite performing CPR demonstrations throughout the day. 

“We are always looking for more people to get involved with the group,” says Mr Hunt. “Regardless of background or skill-set, we would love to hear from people who would be willing to join us as first responders, or help with fundraising initiatives and  raising awareness about CRITICAL and the work we do here. It’s all serving our community. I would really like to express my gratitude to our volunteer crew and of course, Ed Walsh and David Tighe in CRITICAL for their unwavering support.”

In total, CRITICAL has six Community First Responder groups. The new CRITICAL CFR Carrick on Suir group along with CRITICAL CFR Newcastle West and CRITICAL CFR Blackwater are all active and operational, responding to medical emergencies in their communities and working with the National Ambulance Service. Three additional Community First Responder groups in Macroom, Ballina/Killaloe, and Deansgrange, Dublin are currently in training to go live later this year.