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Arranmore Island volunteers recognised for contribution following HSE training

 Ten people standing and kneeling in front of a yellow ambulance with a driver inside. Eight of them wear high-visibility jackets.

A group of volunteers on Arranmore Island off the coast of Co Donegal recently received Emergency First Responder Certificates at a special presentation held on the island. The event also marked the delivery of a new ambulance to replace an older vehicle. Emergency First Responder Group leader John McCafferty and his team of volunteers received their certificates from John Joe McGowan, HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS) General Manager Operations - West.

Speaking at the presentation, Mr McGowan said he was “delighted to present Emergency First Responder Certificates to John McCafferty and the group."

"They are making a real difference on this island. The National Ambulance Service is delighted to support them and all their work as First Responders - providing assistance to their fellow islanders and visitors to Arranmore when they need it. They are a very valuable resource and deserve great credit for their efforts.”

He also said that the provision of the new ambulance was very welcome, describing it as a “valuable resource for the entire community.”

Dermot Monaghan, Chief Officer, HSE Community Healthcare Cavan Donegal Leitrim Monaghan Sligo, outlined how a new Emergency Care Information Sheet was being distributed to every home on the island, containing “important resident and visitor medical emergency information for people while they are on the island.”

He explained that the Information Sheet was a “valuable document as it advises both islanders and visitors about what to do in the event of a medical emergency."

"It is really important in these circumstances that people are able to stay calm and give the National Ambulance Service calltakers the information they need such as their location and the nature of the emergency. We then need them to listen carefully to the instructions they are given. I welcome this initiative and would like to wish everyone on Arranmore well for the year ahead.”

On behalf of the Arranmore Island Emergency First Responders (EFR) group, John McCafferty thanked the HSE National Ambulance Service for “all the support it has given to the group and I very much welcome the arrival of our new ambulance."

"The distribution of the Emergency Care Information Sheets to all homes on the island is also very welcome. It is great to be involved with the EFR group and I want to thank each and every one of the volunteers for the work they do and for getting involved.”

Ger O’Dea, in presenting Certificates of Appreciation from NAS to islanders in recognition of the support given to the Emergency Medical Services over recent years said it was “extremely important to officially acknowledge the dedication of these volunteers in providing support to their community.”

He added that “Community First Responders are integral to community resilience, especially in austere environments such as our offshore islands."

"NAS is committed to working within these communities to provide the quickest possible response to patient emergencies. Having islanders trained to the level of Emergency First Responder means that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to treat a variety of medical and traumatic emergencies ahead of an emergency response vehicle arriving on scene.”