Community First Responders (CFRs) are civilian responders who are trained to international standards in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation. They are part of a local CFR scheme, which is linked to the National Ambulance Service. When the emergency services are alerted to a case of cardiac arrest, chest pain, choking or stroke, a civilian responder from the local CFR scheme is automatically dispatched to the scene along with the ambulance services. The local CFRs can often attend the scene before an ambulance will arrive, and in cases where time is critical such as cardiac arrest, this can save lives. Currently there are more than 200 CFR schemes around the country, all linked to the National Ambulance Service.
There has been a CFR scheme in Co Wicklow since 2004 and now in 2020 there are over 21 towns and villages covered by CFRs linked to ambulance control.
Wicklow Rapid Response (WWRR) is a part of Wicklow Cardiac First Responders (WWCFR, www.wicklowcountycfr.com) . Launched in 2014, WWRR aims to provide a near intensive care level of treatment for critically unwell or injured patients before they reach the hospital. WWRR works with, and complements, both Wicklow CFRs and the National Ambulance Service.