The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, last Friday launched a new rapid response vehicle for the Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR ). The Mayo ICRR rapid response vehicle, which has been donated by Renault Ireland, will enable local GPs to respond swiftly to medical emergencies. At the lanch event, ICRR volunteer GPs based in Mayo also received their defibrillators and emergency bags which have been funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Speaking at the launch in Westport, Minister Ring said: “This vehicle will have a hugely positive impact on the emergency response service available here in Mayo. ICRR is a superb national organisation made up of GPs and medical professionals who voluntarily provide vital emergency response support when life threatening incidents occur in rural areas.
“Given the nature of remote rural areas there can be long distances to travel to a doctor or a hospital and it is vital that expert resources can be deployed locally, without delay. Every minute before treatment counts, and can make a huge difference to the outcome. Through the MERIT 3 programme, run by UCD, 18 GPs in County Mayo have volunteered their time and expertise to attend life threatening events. All are fully trained and are available to be deployed to incidents by the HSE Ambulance service.
“The ICRR group received €446,000 from my Department to equip volunteer GPs around the country with the necessary equipment to attend life threatening trauma and cardiac events in their local communities. Over €64,000 of that money was allocated to Mayo and I’m delighted that several of those volunteer GPs based in Mayo are here today to receive their defibrillators and emergency bags which have been funded by my Department under the CLÁR Programme.
“I would like to acknowledge the generous contribution of Renault Ireland who have donated this and six other vehicles to ICRR. It’s a fine example of businesses giving back to the community and there can be little doubt about the importance of the service which Renault is supporting. The funding from my Department, coupled with the donation of this new vehicle by Renault, will allow ICRR to provide the support necessary to ensure an effective first response effort throughout Mayo and will, no doubt, save many lives in the process.
“In 2017, Mayo ICRR responded to 131 calls for assistance from the HSE National Ambulance Service, including eight road traffic accidents and four sick children. The volunteer doctor also attended 14 cardiac arrests, and was the first emergency service on-scene in 71 per cent of these serious events.”