Waterford is set to avail of new first responder services.
CRITICAL - the Emergency Medical Response Charity, launched Ireland’s first and only charity-funded helicopter air ambulance in 2019. The charity has consistently shown how vital the service is, so much so that it is now fully funded by the State.
Now, the priority for the charity is to bring critical and advanced levels of care to more communities across Ireland, in both rural and urban in places like Waterford
CRITICAL has a strong network of Volunteer Emergency Medicine Doctors and Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders around the country in places like Mayo, Donegal, Wicklow and Dublin and will be expanding to additional locations in the coming months, including Waterford.
Speaking to WLR News, CEO Micheal Sheridan, said they are planning a huge expansion of their services.
"What we decided to do as an organisation was to aggressively expand our network. The great news for Waterford is that in the coming weeks, we're going to have a new doctor - what'll be called an advanced doctor, responding in the area. They'll be attending to road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests, people falling from heights - all of those scenarios. They will be tasked by the National Ambulance Service and will make themselves available to respond as a critical volunteer doctor."
These volunteers are tasked by the National Ambulance Service to help provide pre-hospital emergency care to critically ill and injured patients in their local communities. Many of the volunteers have rapid response vehicles that are kitted out with specialist medical equipment. This allows the medics to perform complex and often lifesaving medical procedures at the scene. The Waterford doctor is likely to be based in the Dunmore area.
Mr. Sheridan told WLR about the company's expansion plans.
"We also in the next few weeks have a really exciting project which we are going to announce, where we will hopefully be welcoming over 100 new emergency medical responders to our charity. These are people who are paramedics, advanced parademics and EMTs and they'll be offered the opportunity to respond to accident and emergency situations."
CRITICAL needs to fundraise to kit out its volunteers so they can continue their life-saving work, and it costs an average of €25,000 to establish an advanced-level volunteer doctor in the community, and €120,000 to put a new critical care response vehicle on the road.
Community-based medical first responders are an integral part of how we as a society respond to medical emergencies and traumatic accidents in our communities. These people have the potential to start treatment while an ambulance is on its way.
For most people, a rapid medical response determines their chances of survival or a positive outcome. For example, for every minute that a stroke patient's treatment is delayed, that person loses two million brain cells, and in the case of cardiac arrest, a person's chances of survival decrease by 10% for every minute that elapses.