About Ashbourne CFR

Ashbourne Cardiac First Responders is a community first responder programme that aims to improve survival rates for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Staffed by trained and certified volunteers, ACFR supports the national ambulance service by responding alongside the ambulance to serious medical calls especially cardiac arrest. Covering the 14,500 people within a 3km radius around the town first responders aim to reach any address in 5 to 8 minutes. This brings skilled CPR and an AED for early defibrillation much sooner than the ambulance can arrive.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of Death in Ireland, with over 52% of all Deaths being cardiovascular related. France is one of the lowest in the EU with 13% and Ireland has over double the EU average which is at 25%. About half these deaths result from sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. Most often it is caused by an arrhythmia (an abnormal heart rhythm) called Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) that prevents the heart pumping blood effectively. Early treatment with a defibrillator is critical to stop VF and reset the heart to a normal rhythm.



Ashbourne Cardiac First Responders was set up in Ashbourne in February 2013 and went live in March 2014. We are working with the Irish Health Services Executive (HSE) National Ambulance Service. We are a group of volunteers who live and work in the local community and help by providing an early response in the provision of primary life saving support to people who have called 999/112 and requested an Emergency Ambulance.


The primary objective is is to provide improved patient outcomes from medical emergencies by providing trained first response to medical emergencies in the community alongside the National Ambulance Service.

Secondary objectives include:

  • To increase local awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death
  • To increase the number of CPR certified people in the Ashbourne area
  • To help local clubs and organizations that have AEDs to maintain an adequate number of trained members.