Newcastle West responders critical to survival

Paul Beynham, CRITICAL West Limerick CFR Volunteer.

WEST Limerick is now part of one of the largest drives in the country to get to people who suffer a serious health crisis in time to save their lives.

Leading emergency medical response charity CRITICAL’s mission is to empower communities to save lives and now has Community First Responders (CFR) active in Newcastle West.

The group is made up of seven local volunteers. They are available to respond to life-threatening emergencies including cardiac arrest, chest pain, stroke, and choking incidents, providing essential first aid until the emergency services arrive at the scene.

The CRITICAL West Limerick CFR group has attended more than 20 medical emergencies since it launched on September 19, 2023.

CRITICAL has supplied the group with the necessary equipment including basic life-support bags and defibrillators at a cost of €5,000 which is entirely funded by donations to the charity.

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The group is working closely with the National Ambulance Service (NAS) on the project. Community First Responders are dispatched at the same time as the other emergency services but the on-call volunteers either live or work in the area and can respond within minutes.

Michéal Sheridan, CEO of CRITICAL, said: “Every second counts. Community First Responders play a vital role, they can start treatment while an ambulance is on the way, increasing the person’s chances of recovery. We’re delighted that the CRITICAL West Limerick CFR group is now live.”

“The seven volunteers will respond to emergencies, when available, in Newcastle West, Foynes, Ballingarry, and Rathkeale. We are calling on the people of Limerick to support our charity in the knowledge that their donations will save lives in Limerick. It’s the first of what we hope will be many CRITICAL CFR groups in Limerick and across Ireland.”

For more information about CRITICAL or to make a donation, visit