CFR Ireland

Community First Responders

CFR Ireland

Chain of Survival

The chain of survival refers to a series of actions that, when put into motion, reduce the mortality associated with cardiac arrest.

Like any chain, the chain of survival is only as strong as its weakest link.

Become a CFR

Community First Responders

Community First Responders (CFR) 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 potential life threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives.

Their role is to help stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care including CPR & defibrillation, until the more highly skilled ambulance crew arrives on scene to take over the treatment.

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CFR Ireland





Number of Groups


Number of Volunteers


AED Registered

Community First Responders Ireland (CFR Ireland)

In Ireland 5,000 People die each year from cardiac arrest, thirteen people every day. These people are going about their daily lives, at home, at work, shopping, at sports events and many collapse and die without warning.

70% to 80% of these collapses happen in the presence of family or friends. After suffering a cardiac arrest, for every minute that passes, the chances of recovery are reduced by 7% to 10%. The current survival rate of Out‐of‐Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OOHCA) in Ireland is 5.2% Irish OOHCA Register 2012. We know that effective CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator within the first 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest can produce survival rates as high as 49% – 75%.

Recognising cardiac chest pain is particularly important, since the probability of cardiac arrest occurring as a consequence of acute myocardial ischemia (heart attack) is at least 21%-33% in the first hour after the onset of symptoms. Immediate CPR, following collapse, can double or triple the survival from cardiac arrest. Reducing trained responder response times to 5 minutes could almost double the survival rate for cardiac arrests.

Upon receipt of a 999/112 call Community First Responders are dispatched simultaneously with the National Ambulance Service. First Responders are only dispatched to Chest Pain, Breathing difficulty, Choking, Stroke and Cardiac related calls within a three mile (5km) radius of their Communities. Because the people “on call” live or work in their area, they can respond in minutes and provide emergency measures and reassurance until the Ambulance Service arrives

CFR Ireland

Board Members


John Fitz

John Fitzgerald AKA “Fitz” has been a Community First Responder in Dunlavin CFRs, Co. Wicklow since April 2005. He is a CFR/AHA instructor and has been the public face of CFR Ireland at numerous information nights around the country since CFR Ireland started. With a professional background in customer service management, purchasing management and retail operations. In his spare (!) time he enjoys rugby and SAFE Rugby are his other passions. He also runs… it’s not a passion just yet!

Vice Chair

Ciara Dowling

Ciara Dowling is a volunteer CFR with Castledermot Cardiac First Responders, which she founded in 2013, and is currently vice chair. She is also a CFR-C instructor / OFA and FAR instructor. She has recently taken over the management of the CFR-I data base and manages registrations for the Respond conference. She currently owns and runs her own first aid training company established in 2011 specialising in paediatric first aid training

IT & Communications Officer

Simon Enright

Simon Enright is a Community First Responder as well as a CFR Instructor with Ballyconnell/Coolkenno First Responders since 2010, and, has been with CFR Ireland since the beginning. He manages the Digital Communications for CFR Ireland and Respond Conferences. He specialises in road safety education and management.

Project Management

Colm Dempsey

Colm Dempsey is a volunteer CFR with Bray Community First Responders. He has over 30 years of volunteering experience, having served in leadership positions at local and national level, with Parish youth projects, school board of management, Irish Water Safety, Civil Defence, RNLI, Community Lifeboats Ireland. He is currently the national lead for resuscitation training with IWS. His professional background is in operational and event management, having managed events from local through national to world events. He has a core interest in volunteer management and rights, applying these skills to CFR-I.


Roisin Dempsey

Roisin Dempsey is a volunteer CFR with Bray Cardiac First Responders since 2014.  She sits on the current committee with the responsibility for group training.  She is an IHA/AHA Instructor.  She has managed the registration desk at the past Respond Conferences.  She has a professional background in Company Formations and Law Search, and, Further Education Tuition in Fashion and Craft Design.


Pat Morrissey

Pat Morrissey is a retired software engineer with over 30 years’ experience of IT in the banking industry. He has been a member of Bray CFR for two years, and is currently treasurer, both of Bray CFR group and CFR Ireland.  He has over thirty years’ experience in various voluntary roles within Parish groups, including Parish Outreach (third World support), Minister of Holy Communion and Coordinator of the parish ministers of the Eucharist and choir. He is also a voluntary manager in Bray Sailing Club.

Events Co-Ordinator

Annie Enright

Annie Enright is a volunteer Cardiac First Responder for many years with Ballyconnell CFR group. She has a long history of conferencing & Banqueting in the hotel and events industry. Annie co-ordinates events for CFR Ireland, including arranging the trade show at Respond. She is currently the treasurer for County Wicklow Cardiac First Responders network committee.

Medical Director

David Menzies

Dr David Menzies is a consultant in Emergency Medicine at St Vincent’s University Hospital and the HSE National Lead for Adult Retrieval. He also lectures in EMS at University College Dublin.  David is a member of Bray CFR and also volunteers with Wicklow Rapid Response

CFR Ireland

Regional Representatives

Southern Region Representative

Iain Grant

Iain is a volunteer CFR with ECRR CFR-Carrigtwohill since it was set up in Sept 2016. He took over the role as group co-ordinator and plays an active role in fundraising activities for the group as well as CPR public awareness sessions. He is also an IHA/AHA instructor. Iain is also on the committee of East Cork Rapid Response and looks after all of their IT for the website and emails. He has always been involved in first aid in his previous jobs in the airline industry and current job in travel and tourism.

Western Region Representative

Stephen Barnes

Stephen is a retired H&S professional with 20 years experience of H&S and
contract management in the oil, gas and chemicals industries during which
time he was also a registered IOSH training provider. He has been a
volunteer CFR with Kilbeagh Community First Responders in Charlestown,
Mayo since 2019. He currently serves on the committee of KCFR with a remit
for H&S and training.
Earlier in his working life he served as a police officer and later as a civil
enforcement officer.
He enjoys walking his dogs and hillwalking when time allows.

Youth Representative

Grainne Christie

Grainne, I am founding member of Kilcock Community First Responders and for the past year have been coordinator.  I am currently training to become a nurse. My main goal with CFR Ireland is to promote and advise the inclusion of youth members within groups.

Southern Region Representative

Mark Beer

I have been part of Lismore CFR since 2014 and Chairperson since January 2020. Our group formed in 2013 and has 12 active members. I have been an EFR since 2017 and was IEC trained in my previous job as a firefighter. I was a firefighter for 30 years in London Fire Brigade and attended many large incidents. Currently I work as a Neuromuscular Therapist, Personal Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Coach. In 2020 I co-founded Lismore Covid19 Updates & Assistance Group where we provide help and updates to those that are most vulnerable in our community. I am an keen ultra runner & a massive Munster rugby fan.

Leinster Region Representative

Peter Rossiter

Peter Rossiter is a founding member of the Celbridge Community First Responders and is current chair of the group. Peter is qualified as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and is a member of Dublin Civil Defence where he is in charge of the medical bike unit.  He has a background in IT project management and is currently working in that area. Peter is a keen photographer and also owns a German shepherd called Lexi.

Western Region Representative

Katrina Sheerin

Katrina is a volunteer, co-founder and current Chairperson of Eslin CFR Co. Leitrim since it was set up in 2019. Her previous role as a paramedic in NAS and as a volunteer in Dublin Civil Defence SAR gives her a great insight to the workings and importance of voluntary groups and respect for the role they play in each community. Katrina plays an active role in fundraising, training and community engagement within Eslin CFR. Her experience in hospitality management was a benefit when setting up the group along with the other volunteers and hopes her overall experience can help other groups too and be more involved with CFR Ireland.

Leinster Region Representative

Gerry Ward

Gerry is Co-founder and CFR volunteer with Castleblayney First Responders Co Monaghan established in 2016. He has over 20 years’ experience working as a retained Firefighter with Monaghan Fire & Civil Protection. He also volunteers with St Johns Ambulance as an Emergency Medical Technician. He is also a PHECC EFR Instructor and a IHF Basic Life Support Instructor and is actively involved in training first aid and CPR skill to his community.

CFR Ireland


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