In a bid to offer frontline assistance for sudden cardiac arrest, the launch of the ‘Creeslough First Responders’ took place on Monday.
A large scale community effort was spearheaded by Roscad’s Jimmy Carroll who poured many hours into the project.
Following on from moves made by the Doe Amateur Swimming club to secure a defibrillator for the area, Jimmy gathered a group of volunteers, forming a committee, who set about collecting and fund-raising to secure a “live” defibrillator for the area, as well as essential training for those volunteering for the programme.
Speaking at Mondays launch, Jimmy paid thanks to all who assisted in both time and donations saying before long they had both a new training and live defibrillator ready for use in the advent of an emergency.
“These are difficult times for people, but not a soul refused when we collected and I want to thank everyone who helped ,” he said.
As luck would have it, he pointed out, the CEO of one of the most popular makes of public access defibrillators, Declan O’Mahoney, a Cork man who works for ‘HeartSine Technologies’ in Belfast, happened to be visiting Creeslough, his wife Mairead’s (nee Gallagher) home town recently. In a generous gesture to the community he then presented a second defibrillator to the group bringing their total to two live and two training devices.
His said HeartSine’s devices are used across the country in GAA clubs, gyms and community groups and also across the world.
Their device was used when Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba collapsed during a match in 2012 and they are also used in the White House in the United States.
Among other successes he highlighted involved a 12-year-old school boy in America and stressed that sudden cardiac arrest can happen all ages. He said they were delighted to support the Creeslough group, adding he hoped they rarely, or never, have to use the device.
Paramedic, Brid McGowan, congratulated the group and stated that if assistance is on hand withing five minutes of an incident, the person stands a 50% chance of survival. John Curran was on hand on the night to advise on issues such as getting garda clearance to join the lifesaving group.
Dr. Paul Stewart wished the group well saying it was “great to see so many volunteers”.
Fr. Seamus Murphy blessed the equipment and volunteers for their work ahead.
Sarah Kelly from Doe Point, who trained the group in the use of the device, also gave a fascinating demonstration of how it is used in a crisis situation.
One by one, each volunteer received their certificates to great applause before everyone enjoyed refreshments in the Day Centre.