independent

Sunday 26 March 2017

Public given 24/7 access to lifesaving defibrillator

John Wolfe and George Sheehan from Mallow Search and Rescue with the Defibrillator.
John Wolfe and George Sheehan from Mallow Search and Rescue with the Defibrillator.

BILL BROWNE

A JOINT initiative between the Mallow Search and Rescue unit and the local credit union could literally prove to be the difference between life and death.

Using money donated by Mallow Credit Union, the unit has installed a public defibrillator on the gate of its premises on Broom Lane that will allow the public 24/7 access to the lifesaving equipment.

Search and rescues chairman John Woulfe said the idea came about after the credit union donated €1,400 to the unit under a community funding initiative to mark its 50th anniversary.

"We felt it was important the money be spent on something that would benefit everyone within the local community.

'The idea is that anyone will have access to the defibrillator in an emergency," said Mr Woulfe.

"The beauty of this particular kind of defibrillator is that it is so easy to use. When you turn the machine on an automated voice will talk people through the whole process."

The mobile defibrillator is attached to the gate of the premises which can only be opened using a special pin number.

'That number will be held by shops in the area, including Lillian's, Dano's SuperValu, the Arches Bar and at Mallow Garda Station on 022 21105. There will also be an emergency contact number on the box.

Volunteers from the unit will be holding evening training sessions for members of the public who would be willing to go on the list of pin number holders. "The idea is that as many people as possible will have access to the defibrillator. Hopefully, it will never be needed but it is reassuring to know that it is there and easily accessible in an emergency situation," he said.

Mr Woulfe said that considerable effort has gone into ensuring that he defibrillator is not vandalised.

"Anyone with half a brain would not interfere with it, but in case someone does try to steal or damage it the box is alarmed and we have CCTV cameras monitoring it around the clock. The alarm will also go off if the wrong pin number is put in," he said.

"We would like to think that people would not be stupid enough to vandalise this vital piece of lifesaving equipment, but we have see what has happened to lifebuoys along the river bank in the past so are taking no chances," said Mr Woulfe.

To find out more about the evening training courses contact John Woulfe on 087-6353850.

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