Portarlington’s life savers on call

The First Responder Fully Trained  Team , pictured at the launch of the Portarlington First Responders project , at Oriel House , with Margaret Guijt -  Lawlor  , Chairperson.           Photo; Michael Scully .
Portarlington’s first team of community responders will soon be ready to save lives, having recently completed their training.

Portarlington’s first team of community responders will soon be ready to save lives, having recently completed their training.

The first lot of volunteers received their training for the Portarlington First Responder Scheme on Saturday, March 2 and are currently waiting to be validated by the National Ambulance Service, before they can repsond to any emergencies in the area.

The need for a team of community responders came about when the population of Port was brought to the attention of the Port Community Development Association, Portarlington Lions Club and Primary Care Team.

With the HSE primary care area covering a population in excess of 10,000 people they formed a committee to address the need for a Public Access Defibrillator that can be accessed by any member of the public who calls 112/999 to report cardiac arrest and to have community responders trained to help in those first few minutes.

Two defibrillators were donated thanks to the Tony Parker Foundation and Portarlington Credit Union to gtt the programme up and running.

The Community Responders do not replace any of the other schemes mentioned or the statutory Ambulance Services, but they compliment and support these schemes to give somebody suffering from arrest the best possible chance of survival.

There are still more people interested in training and a second training day will be planned within the next few weeks. The committee also hope to provide basic life support training to people in the future who although do not wish to respond, still want the skills. These responders will soon be validated by the National Ambulance Service to be alerted and responded by Tullamore Ambulance Control.

Portarlington First Responder Scheme is entirely dependent on fundraising and must continually try to raise funds to maintain the programme. All donations are greatly received should you wish to contribute to this worthy cause. If you would like to get involved with the programme or would like further information please call us on 085 8568801 or drop in to the LovePort/PCDA Office, Orial House, Main Street Portarlington.