Garda Inspector Niall Flood was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) by air ambulance after he was involved in a serious and life-changing road traffic collision while cycling in Dromcollogher in June 2022.

Inspector Flood’s wife Margaret, originally from Scartaglen in County Kerry, believes the speed with which her husband was treated was crucial in saving his life. “We will forever be indebted to the Critical Emergency Response Charity. We’re grateful we got a second chance at life as it was touch and go,” said Margaret.

Garda Inspector Niall Flood lives with his wife and rescue dog Toby, both of whom took part in a special fundraiser where they walked for 100 days to raise vital funds to support the work of CRITICAL’s Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders. The Floods reside in West Limerick, where CRITICAL have recently launched a CRITICAL Community First Responder scheme. The CRITICAL West Limerick CFR Group responded to a massive 15 patients in medical emergency in their first month of responding.

CRITICAL already has a rapidly expanding network of Volunteer Emergency Medical Response Doctors, currently responding in Mayo, Donegal, Dublin, Cork, Wicklow, Wexford and Waterford. These doctors are physicians and consultants with experience in Emergency Medicine or anaesthesiology, and General Practitioners with experience in Pre-hospital critical care. They have been tasked to more than 1,800 calls by the National Ambulance Service over the last two years.

Hundreds of National Ambulance Service (NAS) Personnel are due to join CRITICAL over the coming months, thanks to a recent partnership between the two organisations. Many CRITICAL Emergency Backpacks have already made their way into new communities all over the country as EMT’s, Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics volunteer with us to respond to medical emergencies in their own local areas, outside of their normal working hours.

We rely entirely on donations from communities, businesses, and people like you to equip our volunteers with the costly medical equipment they need to preserve life, alongside our colleagues in An Gardaí Siochána, the National Ambulance Service, the Fire Service and other emergency response agencies. It costs our charity €1,500 to establish a new Emergency Medical Responder in a community and the cost to establish an Advanced or Critical Care Volunteer Doctor in the community can be between €25,000 and €120,000.