CRITICAL looking to add additional groups nationwide, announce new CEO

David Tighe, the new CEO of CRITICAL at the organisation’s base in Croom, Co Limerick. (Pic: Edward Walsh)

Ireland’s leading emergency medical charity recently announced the appointment of David Tighe as its CEO, an individual who received the highest honour from the Red Cross for attending the Grenfell Tower fire on the day of the 2017 tragedy.

The CRITICAL charity, which was first established in 2009 as Irish Community Rapid Response, has a growing network of volunteer responders operating in 20 counties in cities, towns and villages. The charity’s volunteers include consultants in emergency medicine who have been provided with emergency vehicles and the equipment necessary to care for the sickest and most seriously injured patients. 

Mr Tighe has more than 30 years experience in media and communications in Ireland and the United Kingdom. He was a volunteer with the British Red Cross’ Fire and Emergency Support Service for four years and received the Dunant Award for attending the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. He also volunteered as an emergency responder with the Irish Coast Guard.

“It is an honour to be appointed CEO of CRITICAL and I am committed to expanding our network of emergency responders to even more communities across Ireland,” Mr Tighe said. “Collaboration is at the heart of pre-hospital emergency medicine. It is most effective when the emergency services, critical care doctors and first responders work closely together,” he said.

The charity, which has a Community First Responder (CFR) group in Limerick, has plans to add additional groups in Tipperary, Cork and across the country this year.

“The care a person receives in the minutes after they fall ill or get seriously injured can ultimately be the difference between life and death. It’s incredible to see the impact that volunteer responders can have in an emergency.

“I saw it in Grenfell and we witnessed it in Creeslough when our volunteer doctors raced to the scene. Every day our volunteers are responding to cardiac arrests, collisions and other life threatening emergencies. Their equipment is entirely funded by donations and fundraisers carried out by members of the public and we are very grateful.”

The chair, board members and all those working for CRITICAL have welcomed David aboard and are looking forward to an energetic and exciting future.

CRITICAL has more than 70 medical responders made up of emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics and other qualified personnel. A partnership with the National Ambulance Service sees NAS Staff Off-Duty Responders volunteering with CRITICAL to respond to potentially life-threatening emergencies in their local communities.