This month sees the Carrickedmond/Abbeyshrule Defibrillator Group (CADG) celebrate their fifth anniversary. The organisation was established in 2007 with access to just one defibrillator and has grown to accommodate 125 members, all of whom are fully trained in CPR, with eight public access defibrillators at its disposal today.
The CADG was founded after a local man had read an article on a person who had suffered cardiac arrest elsewhere, and died as a result. “We then thought it was a good idea to have that equipment in our community,” says Seamus McGuire, Training Officer with CADG.
The holder of a Heartsafe Community Award and a member of the Irish Heart Foundation, CADG, which is chaired by Abbeyshrule man George Farrar, responds to emergency 999 calls immediately as Seamus explains: “When you dial for emergency, the call centre gets straight in contact with Tullamore Ambulance Centre who in turn contacts us. We have eight team leaders or ‘First Responders’, one of which is contacted. If that Responder is not able to assist, the next name on the list will then be contacted and so on, so forth so there is always somebody available.”
Statistics show that once somebody suffers cardiac arrest, there is a three to seven minute timeframe in which the patient needs to be treated. With a defibrillator, there is a 70 per cent chance of survival but without the necessary equipment, the sufferers chances of survival drop by 7 to 10 per cent per minute. Seamus added, “Thankfully we haven’t had to use any of the defibrillators yet but it is reassuring to have them and to have plenty of people trained in how to use them if needs be.”
Seamus has also invited anyone in the Carrickedmond/Abbeyshrule area to get involved in CADG. “The certificate last for two years and we also provide refresher courses every month in the Community Hall.”
If you are interested in joining CADG, check the weekly local notices in the Longford Leader regularly for registration updates. CADG’s AGM takes place in the Rustic Inn, Abbeyshrule on the evening of Monday, November 26th at 8.30pm.