“Save a Life Day” ends with a life saved!

Wicklow Rapid Response and Wicklow Town Cardiac First Responders held a ‘Save a Life Day’ at Sinnott Autos, Wicklow Town on Saturday 14th May.

The event was designed to promote public awareness about the Chain of Survival and the important role that members of the public can play in this Chain of Survival, in order to save a life before the arrival of the professional emergency services.

Save a Life Day was also promoting the role of the volunteer Community Cardiac First Responders (CFRs) who respond in their local community and the senior clinical level that the Volunteer Doctor of Wicklow Rapid Response can bring to the Chain of Survival in County Wicklow.

The event was attended by representatives of the National Ambulance Service, Wicklow Fire Service and Blood Bikes East in addition to Community First Responders and the Wicklow Rapid Response Doctor.

Free training in the recognition and management of cardiac arrest, defibrillation and choking was provided to all members of the public who attended, with the result that the people of Wicklow are already a little bit safer as a result.

As the day neared its conclusion, the Volunteer Wicklow Rapid Response Doctor and National Ambulance Service crews were dispatched to a cardiac arrest in the vicinity of Sinnott Autos. The patient, who had collapsed, was already in the chain of survival and receiving live saving CPR and defibrillation from the public bystanders, which included off duty members of the National Ambulance Service and Dublin Fire Brigade as well as 5th Year student from Wicklow, Cian Keogh and local man, Keith Callaghan.

Cian keogh
Cian Keogh

Cian, a 5th year student in Colaiste Cill Mhantain, had learnt CPR last year in transition year and Keith had completed a first aid course, through his employment only a few weeks ago.

Little did they know or think at the start of their day that they would be using their lifesaving skills before the end of the day.

The Volunteer Doctor and the WWRR team are, when available, always ready to respond to critical emergencies. As the Save a Life day was coming to an end and just as all the medical equipment that had been on display was packed back into the Skoda Yeti response jeep. The call for the cardiac arrest was received.

Thanks to the efforts of all involved, the patient is on the road to recovery.


Community First Responders such as Wicklow Town CFRs and similar CFR groups across Co. Wicklow, are volunteers who live or work in their community and help by providing an early response in the provision of primary lifesaving support to people who have called 999/112 and requested an ambulance because they are dealing with a Cardiac Arrest, Heart Attack (Chest Pain), choking or someone having a Stroke.

The Ambulance Service Control Centre alerts CFRs when required, and the volunteer responders who are on duty will respond and provide care to the patient till the Ambulance arrives.

All volunteers are trained to become A Cardiac First Responder and they will successfully complete a Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) approved Cardiac First Response course.

Chain of Survival

Sadly over 5,000 people in Ireland die every year in out of hospital cardiac arrests.

For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest, their chances of survival decrease by 10%. It is essential that members of the public are able to perform CPR and use a defibrillator in the first few minutes.

The 5 links in the chain of survival are:

  • Recognitionof cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
  • Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)with an emphasis on chest compressions
  • Rapid defibrillation
  • Basic and advanced emergency medical services
  • Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care


Thanks to the combined efforts of all involved, these links were completed at scene.

Wicklow Rapid Response is a voluntary organisation, which aims to provide near Intensive Care level treatment for our local communities in the pre-hospital environment, where there are life-threatening circumstances. Our volunteer emergency medical Doctor, who specialises in pre hospital emergency medicine, using the Skoda Yeti Rapid Response vehicle, to rapidly respond is declared as a National Ambulance Service Assets. He is called simultaneously with the Ambulance, when a serious emergency occurs.

Wicklow Town CFR meets monthly for training and is always seeking new volunteers to respond and fundraise Contact: cfrwicklowtown@gmail.com

Contact details for other CFR groups in Co. Wicklow wicklowcardiacfirstresponders@gmail.com

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