Irish Heart Foundation staff awarded for role in pandemic

By June Shannon CPR News   |   26th May 2022

Irish Heart Foundation’s CPR staff members recognised for roles in COVID-19 pandemic

Members of staff of the Irish Heart Foundation were among several dedicated Community First Responders (CFR) to receive a special award from the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in recognition of the invaluable role CFRs played throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brigid Sinnott, Resus Manager and Carolina Rolandi and Loredana Macari, Resus administrators at the Irish Heart Foundation received their awards from the NAS at a special event last week.

Jonathon Lynch, National Community Engagement Manager with the NAS, thanked both Carolina and Loredana who administer the Irish Heart Foundation’s CPR programme for all their work in administering the programme and supporting the NAS, CFRs, instructors, and the public.

Brigid Sinnott received an award for her work as head of Resus with the Irish Heart Foundation and dedicated member of the CFR group in Monageer, Co Wexford.

The Irish Heart Foundation is the national training organisation for CPR and the only organisation operating across all of the links in the chain of survival. The Irish Heart Foundation facilitated the training of more than 80,000 people in life-saving CPR last year. All courses are verified and certified which ensures an excellent standard of training.

“ CFRs are an integral and valued link in the 'Chain of Survival' as they can provide essential treatments in those crucial first few minutes prior to the arrival of the National Ambulance Service ,"

Robert Morton, Director , National Ambulance Service

Robert Morton, NAS Director, expressed his sincere thanks for the invaluable support of CFR volunteers, “CFRs are volunteers who are trained to attend certain types of emergency calls in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potentially life-threatening emergency in the vital first minutes before the ambulance crew arrives. Their role is to help stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care, including defibrillation, until the ambulance crew arrives on scene to take over the treatment.”

“CFRs are an integral and valued link in the ‘Chain of Survival’ as they can provide essential treatments in those crucial first few minutes prior to the arrival of the National Ambulance Service. We extend our gratitude and appreciation to each volunteer for their help in saving people’s lives,” he added.

CFR groups who are linked to the NAS National Emergency Operations Centre are alerted to an emergency in their area, and as they are community-based can provide medical assistance within minutes of a 112/999 call being received. In relation to cardiac arrest where the patient’s heart has stopped pumping blood around the body, the sequence of events that follows is known as the ‘Chain of Survival.’

CFRs also volunteered at swabbing sites, vaccination centres and PPE preparation centres,


CFRs were stood down from emergency activations, for safety reasons, in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic however, many members took on other roles in their communities such as, delivering groceries and medicines, assisting those cocooning, etc.

CFRs also volunteered at swabbing sites, vaccination centres and PPE preparation centres, arriving at a moment’s notice and ensuring that key activities throughout the pandemic remained on course. In December 2020, following additional PPE training, CFR volunteers returned to responding to emergency calls and have remained doing so ever since.

John Fitzgerald, CFR Ireland Volunteer Chairman said, “Like most volunteers, Community First Responders do not get involved with community service for notification or gratitude. They just want to give something back, to make their community a better, nicer, safer place to live and work. This recognition from the National Ambulance Services is very humbling.”

For further information on CPR and the courses run by the Irish Heart Foundation please see here.



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cardiac arrest Covid-19 COVID-19 vaccination CPR CPR training Irish Heart Foundation out of hospital cardiac arrest resus

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