Limerick woman honoured for work with first responders group

Rosie Cleary being presented with her award by Jonathan Lynch and Ger O'Dea of the National Ambul.ance Service.

WHEN Rosie Cleary made her way to a meeting of the Ennis Road Community First Responders (CRF) last week, she thought she was going to get a look at their new base in the former Cleeve’s factory site.

She was lost for words when she discovered the meeting was being held in honour of her contribution to the Ennis Road group as part of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) Volunteer Awards.

Presenting the award, National Ambulance Service Community Engagement Manager Ger O’Dea said that Rosie had been nominated for being a driving force in the CFR group and a “super volunteer”.

“Rosie trained as an instructor when there was only one instructor with the group and since then she has helped four other volunteers to gain instructor level.

“She also went into schools and taught life-saving skills to teachers and pupils. She has been at the forefront of every fundraising initiative,” Mr O’Dea added.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Rosie told the Limerick Post that she was completely caught off guard by the accolade.

“I hadn’t even washed my hair,” she revealed.

The group has been in existence for five years, and Rosie has been a volunteer for four of them.

She has been at several calls where paddles have had to be used to re-start someone’s heart, but she believes one of the most necessary life-skills is CPR.

The main reasons for group call-outs are chest pains, choking, cardiac arrest, and stroke, she says.

The group was recently allocated  a space at the Cleeve’s site, which Rosie says will make the world of difference for them.

“Now that we have the base in Cleeves, we will be running courses in emergency response. Our motto is ‘you are your family’s first responder’.

“We want to teach people what to do in an emergency. If something happens in your home, you are the person on the spot to do CPR until the ambulance arrives.”

Accepting the award, a stunned Rosie said she was “so embarrassed”.

After getting over the shock, she said that one of her proudest missions with the group was during the Covid-19 lockdown period, when the group organised donations of skincare products and did a baking rota for treats for staff on the Covid wards.

The group also helped by providing pharmacy and other essential runs for elderly and vulnerable people in the community and for nursing homes.

The Ennis Road group are always looking to recruit new members. They are on all of the social media platforms and have a website ( with details of how to sign up.