The National Community First Responder Network – CFR Ireland – has welcomed the publication of the capacity review by the National Ambulance Service, and says it’s available to work with the NAS to improve patient outcomes and save lives.

The capacity review makes two key recommendations with respect to CFRs:

  1. NAS should consider developing the scope of their network of CFR response to include Delta calls.
  2. Increase the number of schemes to cover many more areas.

John Fitzgerald, CFR Ireland’s co-chairman, said: “CFR Ireland has been working with the National Ambulance Service over the past number of years to increase the number of CFR schemes in operation and at least 30 new schemes are in the early stages of establishment”.

Of the 100 locations, as outlined in the capacity review, identified as being suitable for a CFR scheme, 15 already have a scheme in operation or in the set up stages. CFRs around the country have indicated their willingness to respond to an increased scope of calls.

Dr David Menzies, Medical Director of CFR Ireland said: “CFRs have demonstrated a willingness and ability to perform to the highest standards. With CFR Ireland and the National Ambulance Service, there is a governance framework that will allow us to develop increased scope of practice for CFRs to improve patient outcomes and save lives.”

CFR Ireland logo

Community First Responders (CFRs) are civilian responders who are trained to international standards in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation and oxygen therapy. They are part of a local CFR scheme, which is linked to the National Ambulance Service.

When the emergency services are alerted to a case of cardiac arrest, chest pain, choking or stroke, a civilian responder from the local CFR scheme is automatically dispatched to the scene along with the ambulance services.

The local CFRs can often attend the scene before an ambulance will arrive, and in cases where time is critical such as cardiac arrest, this can save lives. Approximately 15 people die from cardiac arrest in Ireland every day. Currently there are almost 150 CFR schemes around the country, all linked to the National Ambulance Service.

For more information about CFR Ireland and how to establish a CFR scheme visit or contact medical director Dr David Menzies on 086-8205810, or co-chairman John Fitzgerald on 085-7010383,