So far we have made a few discoveries and determined some next steps.
The committee will meet next on 14th March and some of the organizers from the Ratoath group will come by and give us a short course on how to get started. As one of the earliest responder groups, they had to figure a lot out for themselves and they have kindly agreed to allow us learn from their experience which should save a lot of effort and likely some mistakes. Based on how much progress we make on our tasks over the next few weeks, it is likely that we will have another general meeting sometime in late March or early April; the date, time and venue to be determined.
There are a couple of things that we know will apply to all of us:
Every one of us will be Garda vetted before we can take part in the organization. When responding to incidents we will be entering peopleâs homes at a time when they are vulnerable and will be interacting with children, so the requirement for vetting is quite understandable. There was some discussion as to whether this should apply only to people actually responding and that support people could be exempted. However, we felt that this would be too complicated and might lead to problem situations if non-vetted members happened to attend an incident along with a responder. So the simplest, and all around and safest for the organization, is to have a blanket policy requiring everyone to be vetted. Our vetting will be handled through the Meath Volunteer Centre. MVC charges â¬5 per applicant; which, given we have exactly zero budget so far means weâll need to ask everyone to complete and bring the vetting form and the â¬5 fee to the next general meeting.
All responders will need to be trained in two areas: Firstly each of us will need to be certified at a minimum as CFR (Cardiac First Responder) which is a 4 hour class. Several volunteers have indicated that they are CFR instructors and will be willing to help out providing classes and also have access to training equipment that we will be able to borrow. This is huge, as the courses are typically â¬85 per person in and to do it ourselves the equipment: CPR mannequin and AED (Defibrillator) simulator, can cost over â¬500 per training station. Some others have indicated they are willing to take the instructorsâ course and help with the training. We expect to need a minimum of 4 instructors to get everyone trained up and then maintain on-going certification.. For more information on the various roles in pre-hospital emergency care see:
The HSE document for running a CFR program is below. This is the second area in which all responders will need to be trained. This forms the backbone of the policies and procedures that will define what we may and may not do as responders. This along with the material from the CFR course will need to be clearly understood and accepted by every volunteer responder before they will be certified to attend incidents. While the details remain to be worked out; it is likely that the CFR certification class and a detailed study of the policies and procedures will be combined into the AFR recruit training program.