What is Wicklow Rapid Response?

WWRR is a voluntary chairty which aims to “provide advanced emergency clinical care to patients with illness and injury, in (but not exclusively restricted to) the communities of and beyond County Wicklow alongside the statutory emergency services, thereby assisting in the relief of illness and injury and the protection of human life”.

Additionally, we aim to:

         assist the emergency services at the scene of an incident

         publicly promote the chain of survival and bystander CPR & AED use 

         publicly promote the benefits of advanced emergency care in the community

         provide clinical advice and support to CFR Schemes, off duty practitioner responders and others as may be tasked in support of the statutory emergency services.

         provide advice and training to all sectors involved in the provision of emergency care in the community.    

How is WWRR run?

WWRR is run by a volunteer committee who provide administrative and fundraising support. WWRR is a member scheme of the County Wicklow Community First Responders group

WWRR is currently of one four such schemes in Ireland, providing volunteer critical care support to the National Ambulance Service (NAS), including West Cork Rapid Response, East Cork Rapid Response and ICRR Mayo with the support of Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR).

How does WWRR operate?

The principle asset of WWRR is rapid response vehicle and the volunteer specialist doctor.This vehicle is a declared asset to the National Ambulance Service, callsign 5S01. This vehicle enables the volunteer doctor to respond to emergency calls at the request of the NAS, where WWRR may be the closest resource or where the clinical skills of a specialist doctor are required. The doctor responds from home or work when possible and is available on average for >140 hours per week.

Additionally, WWRR supports a number of off duty paramedic/advanced paramedics who respond off duty to emergencies in the community on behalf of the NAS, by the provision of equipment and defibrillators.

What is the clinical governance of WWRR?

WWRR operates under the clinical governance of the National Ambulance Service Medical Directorate. The care provided and types of calls tasked to are agreed with the NAS medical director.

Clinical indemnity is provided via the State Claims Agency, Clinical Indemnity Scheme.

How is Wicklow Rapid Response funded?

WWRR relies on charitable donations. We are very grateful to ICRR who provided our first vehicle, on loan and start up seed capital in 2014. In 2015, we were fortunate to receive a grant from the International Charity Bazaar, which enabled us to transition to our current sponsored vehicle arrangement. Thanks to ongoing generous vehicle sponsorship, our principal recurring costs are the livery of the vehicle, equipment and medications.

We will be undertaking additional fundraising in the near future. Please contact us if you would like to help with this.

What is the rapid response vehicle (RRV)?

The rapid response vehicle (RRV) is a declared asset to the National Ambulance Service and is tasked to calls by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) in Tallaght. Our current RRV is a Skoda Kodaiq 4x4.

This vehicle is equipped with a NAS Tetra radio and has high visibility reflective markings. It has the necessary audio visual warning equipment (lights and sirens) purchased from Redtronic UK and kindly fitted pro bono by Tommy Maguire.

What equipment is carried on the rapid response vehicle (RRV)?

The RRV carries much of the medications and equipment found on a regular emergency ambulance, including resuscitation equipment, medications and a cardiac monitor-defibrillator.

Additionally, the doctor brings the specialist equipment and medications necessary to deliver critical care interventions such as: RSI (general anaesthetic), analgesia, sedation, thoracostomy and thoracotomy.

Specialist equipment includes a patient ventilator and Ultra sound

What training is required to drive the rapid response vehicle (RRV)?

All response drivers of the RRV have previous emergency driving experience and have undertaken advanced driver training.

What sort of calls do WWRR respond to?

WWRR is tasked by the National Ambulance Service, National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) in Tallaght. WWRR will respond when available to any calls tasked by NEOC. As a volunteer doctor resource, these are typically high acuity calls including: cardiac arrest, road traffic collisions and other trauma.

WWRR is not a substitute for the ambulance service, but can make a difference when the WWRR vehicle is the closest resource to a critically ill or injured patient or when the patient would benefit from the critical care interventions that a specialist doctor can provide.

What sort of interventions can WWRR provide?

The WWRR doctor is one of only a few, in the country currently providing volunteer critical care support to the National Ambulance Service. This level of care exceeds the scope of practice of an Advanced Paramedic and includes such interventions as: RSI (general anaesthetic), analgesia, sedation, thoracostomy and thoracotomy.

Additionally, the doctor is able to discharge patients at scene if transport to hospital is not required, thereby freeing up ambulance resources for other calls.

How is WWRR tasked?

The WWRR RRV is visible to NAS NEOC and the Emergency Medical Dispatcher can identify when it is the closest resource to a call and contact the doctor via telephone or radio.

WWRR can also respond via NAS NEOC to a request from a crew on scene for critical car support, when they have identified that a patient may benefit.

The doctor and off duty practitioner responders also receive automated SMS alerts for certain call types from NAS NEOC which alerts them to calls within a predefined radius in the same manner as Community First Responder (CFR) schemes.

How many calls does WWRR respond to?

WWRR is tasked by NAS NEOC on average four to six times per week

What training does WWRR provide?

WWRR has provided several CPD sessions to front line ambulance crews in the region, explaining the critical care interventions that WWRR can provide and demonstrating how WWRR and ambulance crews can work together as a team in these situations.

WWRR are always happy to help with training or information sessions for statutory and voluntary emergency services. If you are interested in organising a training session, talk etc please contact us.

Can I help?

If you are interested in volunteering with WWRR in a support or clinical role, please contact us. We are particularly interested in hearing from paramedics/advanced paramedics who are willing to respond off duty and also from suitably qualified specialist doctors.

If you are interested in joining or starting a CFR scheme, you can contact CFR Ireland or Wicklow CFR

  • If you are a General Practitioner, interested in responding, you can contact the Centre for Emergency Medical Science at UCD, who run the MERIT3 project in association with ICRR and NAS.
  • If you are an off duty practitioner responder or a doctor with specialist qualifications, please contact us directly.

Is it possible to do an observer shift with WWRR?

Due to the emergency voluntary nature of WWRR it is not possible to predict when a call will come in. As a voluntary service, it is not generally possible to do a ‘shift’. However if you are interested in learning more about the service, please contact us.



Charities Regulator number 20206010. Registered address Grangebeg Dunlavin Co. Wicklow