Irish Community Rapid Response was established to support local teams of volunteer doctors and paramedics who can be called upon to assist local emergency services in rural communities across Ireland.
Ireland’s rural population can often justifiably feel isolated from the rest of the country, particularly when it comes to the provision of emergency services. The arrival of the most recent financial crisis has highlighted this reality, with changes to our emergency services placing significant pressures on those operating on the frontline. As a result, potentially lifesaving assistance is struggling to reach those in need within an acceptable and critical time period. A longer response time means a greater risk to life, often resulting in serious injuries or unnecessary deaths. This simple fact disproportionately affects rural communities, areas far from the nearest Accident and Emergency Unit.
Rather than waiting for a cash strapped government to provide solutions, John decided to develop his own. Initially established in West Cork, Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) teams enhance local emergency services by providing additional medical personnel to respond to emergency callouts. Funded by the communities they operate in, ICRR supports local groups of volunteer doctors and paramedics who can be called upon through the ‘999’ service in addition to the more traditional local emergency services. ICRR helps to provide these teams with all the required training and equipment, ensuring that they can deliver the best possible results for those they help. All of their volunteers are highly skilled and possess a wealth of experience in dealing with trauma and critical care.
Working seamlessly with established emergency services, ICRR teams have responded to over 300 call-outs, dealing with approximately 500 patients to date. Having helped to save 54 lives this year alone in the county of Cork, ICRR teams are already having the ultimate impact in parts of rural Ireland. Having expanded their operations into East Cork they are now looking to take their innovative model to the national level, establishing Rapid Response units in counties where emergency services are in real need of assistance. With an average of 2 lives saved per month, ICRR is turning an abundance of community spirit into action, providing a priceless service to the people of rural Ireland right when they need it most.
Being an SEI Awardee has allowed our organisation to reach a level never thought possible and enabled us to roll out nationally.