A NEW band of potential life-savers in Loughmacrory are ready and able to make a difference in an emergency.
Last week, a 40-strong group took part in first aid training and practical assessments, as part of a course held over two evenings.
Using mannequins they learned how to perform CPR on both adults and infants, the effective use of a defibrillator, the correct procedure for asphyxia and choking, as well as caring for burns, fractures, scalds and electrical injuries.
The course was delivered by the Western Emergency Skills Training team and facilitated by the South West College and Loughmacrory Community Development Association (LCDA).
Dr Kevin Moore who administered the first aid training said, “I think this training is so important because it can save lives and enhance the preservation of life in rural communities. The fact people are learning first aid can actually increase that vital time gap between when an accident occurs and the arrival of skilled medical aid.
“Particularly for rural communities it can unfortunately take the ambulance a long time to get to the emergency, but the fact that someone in the locality can start early CPR and early defibrillation can increase the person’s chance of survival from three per-cent up to 40 per-cent.”
Additional to the vital first aid training, the group also received some crucial water safety tips from members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) who also came along to speak at the course.
As the local lake is at the heart of the Loughmacrory community, learning practical water safety knowledge will prove invaluable to all those present.
And as the area is currently being developed for more water-based activity which includes the newly formed canoeing club, the level of safety risks increase too.
One of the organisers of the training was local MLA and member of LCDA Declan McAleer.
He acknowledged that with a “thriving community” safety precautions must be taken and hopes this initiative will contribute towards making the community a “safer place to live, work and play in”.
“As a community, we are conscious that with the increased levels of activity there is also a higher possibility of accidents and other emergency situations,” he explained.
“The objective of this training initiative was to train more people in vital lifesaving skills should they ever be needed in the community, at home, school or in work.
“It was designed to complement the excellent work being carried out by the GAA and organisations like Termon Responders and the
He added, “On behalf of LCDA, I would like to thank the South West College SuSe Programme for commissioning this course with us and commend the Western Emergency Skills Training Ltd and the RNLI for their excellent training and delivery skills.”