Swords CFR (Community First Responders), which responds to calls of heart attack, cardiac arrest, chest pain, stroke or choking, has just unveiled a new public defibrillator/AED for River Valley, allowing it to continue to save lives in the Swords community.
The group, made up of a team of fully-trained volunteers, went live with the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in January 2017, playing a key role in the area of first response.
Swords CFR recently announced the installation of a new defibrillator/AED in the River Valley area of Swords, the latest such device to be introduced to Swords.
Zita Corkery, Secretary with Swords CFR explains: 'What we do is we respond to emergency calls through the National Ambulance Service, we also want to get public access defibrillators for every area in Swords, and with River Valley there has been two cardiac arrests in the last two years in River Valley car park alone, so we really feel the community needs that resource available.'
Speaking of how the system operates, Zita says: 'It's very very simple. Basically there's a code and if someone goes into cardiac arrest or heart attack you dial '999' and it's already mapped on the system with the control centre.
'They give them the code out, the code opens the box and basically you plug in parts and apply the parts to the person's chest and it'll go thorough what you need to do basically.
'It's 'hands on' CPR at the moment, they're not doing breath at the moment with the Covid situation.
'The operator will talk you though it, but also the machine talks you through it.'
Zita says: 'It's housed on the side wall of Progressive Credit Union in Rivervalley, and we approached the team there to request access here.
'We are delighted they agreed and secured a local electrical business CPSE to install the unit.'
Swords CFR also has AEDs located at Tesco in Airside, funded by the Tesco Community Fund, and at The Manor Inn in Swords Manor, funded by the group themselves.
The new AED at River Valley was part-funded by Fingal County Council under the Community Enhancement Programme, and part-funded by Swords CFR themselves.
Swords CFR has a dedicated team of 20 fully-trained responders, operating a 24/7 service. Just live two weeks, a cardiac arrest in River Valley car park was already reported, though thankfully, Zita says, the AER unit did not have to be operated at that time.