Castleisland Community First Responders Group On Duty

Members of the Castleisland Community First Responders Unit at their historic launch at the River Island Hotel on Friday night. Included are front from left: Máire O’Connell, Danielle O’Neill, James O’Donoghue, Nathan Egan, Francis Moynihan and Oorla Casey. Seated: Kristina Broderick, Eileen Riordan, Andrew Foran, Eamon O’Connor, Neil Browne, Mairéad O’Connell and John Broderick. Back row: Denise Griffin, Noreen O’Mahony, Gráinne Finnegan, Thomas Hickey, Catherine Murphy, Andrew Kelly, D.J. Fealey, Denise Fleming, Joanie McCarthy and Jonathan Callaghan. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-2019

An invitation to members of the community in the general Castleisland area was issued by Castleisland Community First Responders spokesperson, Oorla Casey and coordinator, Andrew Foran ahead of the announcement of their official launch on Friday night at the River Island Hotel.

Deep Sense of Pride

They also invited members of the community to attend and there was a deep sense of pride at what the responders have achieved since just the spring of this year.

Once the audience members settled in their seats, Eamon O’Connor introduced the 22 strong team of newly trained responders and they filed into the room and filled the chairs facing the crowd.

Filling a Void

Somehow it seemed symbolic of the void they’re about to fill in the daily life of the communities they intend to serve from now on.

The meeting heard that the unit is in a healthy financial state as a result of their hard work and fundraising activities in the course of the year.

There were also some demonstrations of life saving devices and operations after the announcements and speeches.

Thanks to Those Who Helped

The unit members thanked those who helped them with their fundraising activities and they mentioned, in particular, Walsh Colour Print, and Cara Credit Union and all the businesses in this and neighbouring areas which involved themselves in the golf classic in August.

Their praise giving also extended to two local men who played big parts in getting the plans for a local responder unit to a reality.

Praise for Denis and Eamon

Denis Kerin and Eamon O’Connor were credited with mentoring and supporting the incoming group members to the extent that the unit is ready to go live this week.

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

Coffee Morning and Golf Classic

They also organised a successful coffee morning in June with the golf classic in August as a means of fundraising for equipment and training facilities ahead of a formal launch and in September they also received a €1,000 cheque from the River Island Hotel Card Players’ Fund.

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.

Super Groups

And group coordinator, Andrew Foran announced that each of the neighbouring parishes will have trained volunteer units or ‘Super Groups’ under the auspices of the Castleisland First Responder Unit to deal with any emergency that may arise.

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

Activated by Ambulance Control

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, Knocknagoshel,

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

Delighted at Public Response

Group spokesperson, Oorla Casey said that the members were delighted at the response to the launch on Friday night and that they’re looking at a new term of training after Christmas.

“We will always be looking for new members and we gather at Castleisland Fire Station every Thursday night from 7pm to 8:30pm. We will start another term of training as soon as Christmas is over.

In Emergency Dial 999 or 112

Anyone who comes across an emergency can just dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance and our unit members will be automatically alerted immediately.

“We could be on the scene in a matter of minutes and that could be the difference between life and death,” said Oorla.