New defibrillator group launched in Longford town

The official launch of the combined community defibrillator initiative in the Longford areas of Clonbalt, Foynescourt and Aughadegnan took place recently.

The official launch of the combined community defibrillator initiative in the Longford areas of Clonbalt, Foynescourt and Aughadegnan took place recently.

The idea was first mooted in late 2010 when a number of locals got together in an effort to carry out a study aimed at finding out if the local population was interested in coming together to progress the idea.

The committee decided to circulate a letter to every household looking for expressions of interest from people who would be interested in both contributing financially to fund the project and also from those willing to put themselves forward for training in the use of the units when in service.The response to this survey proved very positive and so it was decided to contact other community groups to get the benefit of their experiences on how best to proceed.

“The Carrickedmond group, being one of the largest in the area, was contacted and without hesitation offered any help that we might need to get started,” said Joe Duffy, one of the organsiers. “The group sent two representatives, Seamus McGuire and George Farrar to the next meeting of our group and the information received from both men in terms of the administration work attached to the running of the scheme and the training requirements was invaluable.

“They also explained how they raised initial funding for their units. Following on from this we decided to ask every household to contribute p50. The response to this appeal raised enough funding to purchase two defibrillators, two insulated cabinets to store them in and three training mannequins.

“In this regard I would like to extend a special word of thanks to Tom McGrath for his much appreciated help from the start.If there are any households that we didn’t get back to and are willing to contribute please contact any of the numbers below and we will gladly accept any contribution that will assist in the maintenance of the equipment.”

Seamus and George also attended a subsequent meeting of our group and further explained how the scheme would interface with the emergency services when up and running. At the last meeting they offered to provide a training course for 10 of the group to get us started and this was completed in early 2012.

In January 2012, Joe secured a place on a community CPR instructors course and secured the qualification and the group would like to thank Breda Ward, Regional Training Officer with the HSE for this oppurtunity.

“Having a trainer in the community makes it much easier for anyone interested in training to get access to a course. The courses are provided free of charge, take approximately 6 hours over two sessions and could prove to be life saving, not only within our community but anywhere you may find yourself in a situation requiring the skill.

To avail of any training course please contact Joe Duffy 086 3801136, Seamus Mc Loughlin 087 255592 or Kevin Bohan 087 6559368.

“Nobody knows when Cardiac arrest will strike as it makes no distinction between any of its victims so it is hoped that at least one from each household will avail of the training and make every effort to safeguard the community as a whole.

“If there are people who wish to become involved in the running of the scheme please feel free to contact any of the above numbers. Involvement would be more of a social contact than the idea of getting a job to do and would bring about a community wide volunteer spirit while providing a potentially life saving service to those closest to us,” Joe added.