Ray Bodley and Val Flint are QAS first responders for the wider Killarney region, and are looking to enlist more locals.
Ray Bodley and Val Flint are QAS first responders for the wider Killarney region, and are looking to enlist more locals. Emma Channon

Quick response is vital

VAL Flint learnt the importance of basic first aid when her mother sadly died of a heart attack aged 37 years.

The Killarney resident was just 16-years-old when it happened, and ever since she has been painfully aware that first aid can be the difference between life and death.

So that's why five years ago, when talk began about establishing a first responder group at Killarney, she jumped at the opportunity.

"The sooner people get medical attention, the better their recovery rate, whether it be an accident, snake bite or asthma attack," she said.

"It's a community minded service."

The Killarney first responders are exactly that - they receive the call-outs to accidents straight after 000 calls are made and usually arrive before paramedics do.

All are volunteers and rely on the goodwill of their employers to let them drop their work when an emergency happens.

Fellow volunteer Ray Bodley has also been a first responder at Killarney since the group's inception.

"I joined because dad was an asthmatic and he got to the stage where he was on a machine nearly every day and night," he said.

"I couldn't do much to help, so I joined to learn more about first aid."


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