WWRR is a voluntary group working in partnership with and supporting the existing Emergency Services. Our Rapid Response Vehicle and volunteer Doctor is a declared National Ambulance Service asset and is called simultaneously with the state emergency services when a serious incident occurs. Our team voluntarily supports their community by responding to these life threatening emergencies in a manner similar to Community First Responders and similar specialist services in Cork and Mayo.
These teams work nationally with, and compliment all front-line emergency services including the National Ambulance Service (NAS), the Coast Guard, the Fire Service, Mountain Rescue, the RNLI and the Air ambulance which is run by the Air Corps and National Ambulance service.
WWRR aims to put the right people in the right place at the right time with the right equipment and the right skills to achieve the right outcome.
WWRR can beneﬁt patients in one of two ways:
1. By virtue of being a community based emergency service, which is available to Ambulance Control, the WWRR Rapid Response Vehicle may be the closest emergency service and can make a lifesaving difference in time critical cases, where every second counts.
2. On occasion, advanced critical care interventions from a trained specialist physician can be lifesaving. These interventions can include: advanced drug therapy, advanced analgesia and critical procedures such as general anaesthesia and roadside surgery.
We aim to provide this Intensive Care level of treatment for our communities in the pre-hospital environment in life threatening circumstances by our volunteer emergency medical personnel. Wicklow has a signiﬁcant rural population where a community based specialist emergency service can shorten the time to deﬁnitive care. We have developed a volunteer model of pre-Hospital emergency medicine in Wicklow by using a physician supported by communities working under the National Ambulance Service. Our aim is to maximise resources in the community complementing the existing pre hospital care services.
Our team is made up of medical and community volunteers, both of which are critically important in ensuring a well-run, locally based, sustainable organisation, for planning, fundraising training and logistical assistance.
The WWRR doctor, Dr. David Menzies is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at St. Vincent's University Hospital. He is also the national clinical lead for adult critical care retrieval and the clinical lead for the central trauma network in Ireland’
Dr Menzies responds voluntarily in his own time when circumstances allow. He is one of only a small number of such doctors on call to the National Ambulance Service country wide and the only critical care pre hospital doctor in the east of the country.
Calls for assistance from WWRR come either directly from NAS control in Tallaght or from the crews already on scene where they have identified a need for specialist assistance.
In other jurisdictions, pre hospital critical care has also been provided on a voluntary basis by schemes such as BASICS in the U.K. for example. More recently, many ambulance services are now providing pre hospital critical care on a funded, roster ED basis with both pre hospital critical care physicians and critical care paramedics.
In time, we hope that this is also the case in Ireland. At present, a small number of volunteer critical care doctors in Wicklow, Cork and Mayo are providing a critical care support to the National Ambulance Service nationally.
Although based in Wicklow, WWRR can be tasked to any incident where the NEOC dispatcher or crews on scene feel that WWRR may be able to help.
Off Duty Practitioner Responders.
A number of NAS paramedic/advanced paramedic practitioners also voluntarily respond when off duty.
WWRR aims to support these volunteers with equipment and defibrillators, providing another tier to a network of integrated emergency care in Wicklow and beyond.