Louth Civil Defence CFR Scheme responds to over 50 calls

10 November 2023

Louth Civil Defence, in conjunction with the National Ambulance Service (NAS), has formed a Community First Response (CFR) group which responds to life threatening 999 emergencies within County Louth.

Since its formation in November 2022, the scheme has responded to over 50 emergency call outs throughout the entire county. They receive automatic notification to certain medical emergencies when a 999 or 112 call is made to the ambulance service for a relevant call in the county.

The scheme is co-ordinated by David Yore, a volunteer with Civil Defence, under the guidance of Civil Defence Officer Chris Connolly. The group comprises of highly trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) who all actively volunteer with Louth Civil Defence.

“We have responded to over 50 calls throughout Louth, ranging from cardiac arrests to chest pains and chokings”, states co-ordinator David Yore.

“We’re a bit different to other schemes in that all our members are PHECC EMT’s and we were one of the first voluntary group schemes to be set up in Ireland and were the first in the North-Leinster area.

“Since the very beginning of the scheme, we have been given huge support by NAS, with particular thanks to Liam Stewart the Community Engagement Officer as well as the operational road staff and local management who have been extremely supportive of the scheme” he continues.

“The responders are all trained EMT’s and thus can provide CFR Advanced skills whilst operating in the scheme. This includes the use of Bag Valve Masks (BVMs), manual suction and airway devices and allows our volunteers to deliver an enhanced level of care to the patient’ states Civil Defence Officer Chris Connolly.

“The success of the scheme is a testament to the power of community engagement and the dedication of our volunteers. In situations where each moment counts, this group of volunteers have proven to be a vital asset to the residents of County Louth. They provide crucial interventions in medical emergencies under some very challenging circumstances.”

National Ambulance Service Community Engagement Officer for the area, Liam Stewart, advised that he was “delighted to work with Louth Civil Defence on this initiative which enhances the chain of survival across the county and has received positive feedback from the community, local NAS staff and other community first responders who have worked alongside the Civil Defence volunteers at incidents in the area”.