Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest and Community First Response in Ireland: Building Evidence for Policy and Practice


Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) causes over 2000 unexpected deaths in Ireland each year. Survival from OHCA is heavily reliant on the rapid provision of high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation. Reaching OHCA victims on time, every time represents a critical challenge for Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Consequently, Community First Response (CFR) has become an important component of OHCA management in Ireland. CFR involves mobilising volunteers who have basic life support training and, potentially, access to an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). These volunteers include community first responder groups, general practitioners, and fire services. However, currently, there is insufficient understanding of the nature and contribution of CFR.

 Aims and Objectives

The primary aim of this research is to improve the understanding and impact of CFR to OHCA in Ireland. The main objectives are to:

  1. Review international CFR practices, including existing data collection processes
  2. Review current sources of CFR data in Ireland
  3. Develop a data collection, integration, and analysis process for CFR in Ireland


Work Packages 

1.Review of international CFR practices through: (a) literature review, (b) online survey of stakeholders, and (c) individual interviews with stakeholders.

2. Review of national CFR practices through: (a) analysis of National Emergency Operations Centre data, (b) analysis of CFR report data, (c) analysis of OHCA Registry data sources, and (d) evaluation of feasibility of obtaining data from AEDs.

3. Consensus process with stakeholders to design an optimal data collection, integration, and analysis process.

This research is funded by an Applied Partnership Award from the Health Research Board, as well as the National Ambulance Service and the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council.