Irish Red Cross

The Irish Red Cross welcomes the objective of the "Sharing the Vision" initiative which seeks to establish the present capacity and future roles of the voluntary and auxiliary organisations engaged in pre-hospital care in Ireland.

The Irish Red Cross has commenced a new Emergency Medical First Responder course in 2004 and is delivering this course at five regional training centres at present. The course aims to equip experienced volunteers with the skills to carry out meaningful emergency assistance at first responder level and emphasises the inter relationships with the statutory emergency medical providers and hospital staff.

As part of a worldwide movement dedicated to emergency humanitarian interventions the Irish Red Cross wishes to form part of the network of approved first responder providers. This is against a background of new legislative developments in pre-hospital care concerning the administration of medication, revised training levels and paramedic status being introduced in Ireland.

The Irish Red Cross has a fleet of 85 ambulances - over half of which have been purchased new in the past 2 years - including 10 off road ambulances. Seventy five automated external defibrillators have been purchased for use in almost three quarters of our Units nationwide, for use at events and public duties we currently cover. (Continued in next column)
  (Continued...) A national Red Cross training centre is being developed at present which will enhance our training capacity considerably. Newly appointed regional directors will assist improved communication with key players from the health boards or their successor structures.

We welcome the concept of clear quality standards in training and look forward to working in partnership with the PHECC in this field.

Anthony Lawlor