• Review: Respond 2014 – National CFR Conference, Ireland

    by Guest Author. Last modified: 04/03/14


    This review is written by Ian Brennan HDipEMT MScEMS. Ian is an Advanced Paramedic Supervisor with the National Ambulance Service in Ireland, a Volunteer with the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps Ireland and a Medical Educator with the Irish Rugby Football Union/International Rugby Board. His interests include prehospital pain management, spinal injury management, concussion and pretty much anything related to rugby!


    Respond 2014 – National CFR Conference


    Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland




    The 1st March 2014 was the date for the inaugural Cardiac First Responder(CFR) conference, ‘Respond’. The conference was organised by the Wicklow CFR group and their Medical Director, Dr. David Menzies. This conference was the first of its kind to be ever run in Ireland. It was held over one day in the Tullamore Court Hotel in Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

    The conference was exceptional value for money (€30 delegate fee) with the Wicklow CFRs and Dr. Menzies arranging a large number of both national and international speakers, with no less than 16 in total. The conference also included a trade hall with many of the major AED manufactures and first aid suppliers exhibiting.

    The conference had an excellent attendance of over 350 delegates, consisting of community first responders to members of statutory, voluntary and auxiliary groups. Many of these groups work closely with the Irish Heart Foundation who were also present on the day.

    The conference was opened by Mr Martin Dunne, Director of the National Ambulance Service (NAS). The morning session included speakers on current and established models of CFR in Ireland, including ambulance service linked community CFR schemes, public access defibrillation schemes and the CFR initiatives by Irish GPs and Dublin Airport Fire Service.

    As the conference progressed there were more talks on the potential for increasing CFR roles in sports and law enforcement. The initiative of teaching CPR in schools, and the future potential of a national CFR framework to integrate all CFR schemes.

    Key note speakers on the day included Dr. Cathal O’Donnell, NAS Medical Director, reinforcing the importance of good quality CPR and how vital the role of the CFR is in the management of cardiac arrest. Professor Bryan McNally, Executive Director of ‘Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival’ (CARES) talked about the importance of data collection and measurement to help improve cardiac arrest survival rates.

    One of the highlights of the day for many of the delegates included a talk from Chris Solomon, a cardiac arrest survivor. Chris suffered a very public cardiac arrest whilst been filmed for a series on the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Chris gave a heart felt talk to the delegates and gave a view from the patients perspective. There was no better motivation to the CFRs than to see Chris and to listen to him emotionally talk about his experience.

    In the afternoon the delegates got the chance to attend some workshops, covering all aspects from CPR training, social media and setting up a CFR scheme to name a few. Once again an excellent line-up of people facilitated these workshops.

    The conference was closed by Barry O’Sullivan, Deputy Director, Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) with a huge endorsement for and continued support to the CFRs. Also at the end of the day Dr David Menzies announced the formation of a new national cardiac first responder group, CFR Ireland, where all CFR groups will be invited to join. -see www.cfr.ie

    Overall review

    Overall the conference was an immense success – the delegate attendance far exceeded what would be expected at an inaugural event. It’s hoped that it will be an annual event.

    From a personal perspective it was important for me to attend to give some support to the CFRs, in particular to those voluntary unpaid schemes who genuinely embrace the ‘caring for the community’ spirit. It also really gave me an insight into what is been done and what potentially could be done to help improve out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rates.

    Would you attend again?

    I will be attending next year and I would highly recommend it for any CFR or CFR groups.

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    Guest Author

    Guest posts are written by various organisations and authors with an interest in EMS, prehospital care, research and other relevant topics.

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    2 thoughts on “Review: Respond 2014 – National CFR Conference, Ireland

    • Pat Carroll says:

      I found the event very informative and it was great to meet other schemes that are set up, we were able to exchange ideas which was great. The speakers were very encouraging. Hopefully the national responder group can be formed ASAP.

      Pat Carroll
      Scheme Co Ordinator
      Blarney St Responder Scheme(Cork City)

      • Alan Batt Alan Batt says:

        Great to hear you enjoyed it Pat, CFR Ireland promises to be an exciting development for community schemes like yourselves.

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