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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

MAGGIE’S CALL | Life saving service goes live in County Antrim

Fire crews receive life-saving training from Stephanie Leckey RN, Community Resuscitation Lead for NIAS.

A first of its kind in Northern Ireland life-saving service has been launched by Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) in County Antrim to provide a rapid medical response to cardiac arrest emergencies in isolated areas on the East Antrim coast.

Health Minister Robin Swann announced the launch on Friday (25 February) following meeting with the family of five-year old Maggie Black who sadly passed away in December 2021.

Little Maggie Black who sadly died in December 2021.

In memory of Maggie, the Black family from Glenarm, launched MAGGIE‘S CALL petition to ensure that the Fire and Rescue Service be automatically dispatched to emergency medical calls in rural areas across Northern Ireland.

The initiative, which is a collaboration between the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, will see a phased roll-out of On-Call firefighters being trained to co-respond to incidents in rural areas where someone has had a cardiac arrest.

Health Minister Robin Swann meeting with the parents of Maggie Black last week at Carnlough Fire Station.

After the Health Minister’s announcement, Maggie’s mum, Sheenagh Black said:

“This announcement, having Maggie’s Call accepted and having agreed plans in place for implementation in Maggie’s memory means so much to us all as a family and community.

“We have successfully put our pain to purpose and made a change that can only save lives and help support the ambulance service. Two amazing services working together.”

On Saturday past, NIFRS crews based at Carnlough Fire Station received their Basic Life Support training from Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The training equipped the crew to be able to respond to cardiac arrest emergencies within their local community.

Fire crews taking part in life-saving training on Saturday.

Delivered by Stephanie Leckey RN, Community Resuscitation Lead for NIAS, crew members received instruction in:

• Immediate adult life support

• Immediate child and infant life support

• Airway management and adjuncts

• Choking

• Partnership working

• Saving lives

Fire crews taking part in life-saving training on Saturday.

The co-responding service that will no doubt save many lives, went live over the past weekend at 5pm on Sunday.

In the event of a medical emergency, members of the public should still contact the Ambulance Service via 999. Northern Ireland Ambulance Service crews will still be dispatched to all call outs, but local firefighters may respond to the emergency before the arrival of paramedics.


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