Castleisland First Responders Launch on Friday Night

Members of the Castleisland Community First Responders received a €1,000 cheque from organisers of the River Island Hotel weekly Sunday Night Card Players in September.  Front from left: John O’Connell, card players PRO; Maireád O’Connell, Andrew Foran, Oorla Casey, John Broderick and John Skevena O’Sullivan, card players charity founder. Back from left: Joanie McCarthy, Kristina Broderick, Donie Cremins, card players organiser; Eamon O’Connor, Andrew Kelly, Neil Browne, DJ Fealey, Denis Kerin, Máire O’Connell and Denise Griffin. ©Photograph: John Reidy 8-9-2019 

An invitation to members of the community in the general Castleisland area has been issued by Castleisland First Responders spokesperson, Oorla Casey and coordinator, Andrew Foran.

The group members are happy to announce their official launch night on this Friday, November 15th at 8pm in the River Island Hotel.

They are also inviting members of the community to attend and engage with them and learn about their aims and aspirations for their future operations within the community.

Light refreshments will be provided on the night.

A Welcome Landmark

Friday night’s launch will be a welcome landmark for the growing group membership as they have been ‘on the road’ since early this year.

Their long campaign entailed holding public meetings, inviting speakers, getting their message out and about throughout this and neighbouring parishes.

They also organised a successful coffee morning in June and a golf classic in August as a means of fundraising for equipment and training facilities ahead of a formal launch.

The group members are grateful for the response from the community to their fundraising efforts and, in August they received a €1,000 cheque from the River Island Hotel Card Players’ Fund.

A Reality for Local Communities

Mark Callinan, a paramedic and community engagement officer with the national ambulance service, addressed the group members last April.

Mr. Callinan explained the requirements around setting up a Community First Responder group and he went through all that is involved in making it a reality for the town and surrounding areas it aims to service and support.

The Castleisland unit has been set up on the basis that it will provide locally, trained volunteers to assist the National Ambulance Service responding to high priority emergencies.

Its members will be involved in situations where early intervention may be the difference between life or death.

Demonstration Stations at Launch

The volunteers will be activated by ambulance control when a call is made for a stroke, chest pain, cardiac arrest or a person choking within the area of Castleisland, Cordal, Currow and Scartaglen.

Free training will be provided to the volunteers who will become part of an on-call rota system to service the area.

The unit will be ‘going live’ from Monday night – meaning that they’ll be on active, voluntary duty from then on.

Both Oorla Casey and Andrew Foran and their unit members will be delighted to see a good turnout at the River Island Hotel on Friday night from 8pm.

They will have four demonstration stations around the launch venue on the night where members of the public can see at first hand what they do and to ask questions.