By EMMA CONNOLLY
CARRIGALINE Community First Responders have installed the town’s first telephone box defibrillator on the Crosshaven Road – and are planning four more over the coming months.
The Kearney family, who live locally, lost their dad Tim in 2015, but were helped at their time of need by the group, and contributed €10,000 to the project.
Tim was a keen golfer and they held a fundraising golf classic in his memory.
Chairperson of the First Responders group, Pat Allen explained how they had been planning the life-saving equipment in the classic phone boxes for some time, but that the Kearney’s donation had helped progress the project. The cost of purchasing the phonebox and defibrillator came to €5,000.
Carrigaline Community First Responders was set up in 2015 and, with 26 volunteers, aims to provide cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, within a 5km radius of the busy commuter town.
Two volunteers cover a 12-hour shift and are activated via text by the National Ambulance Service (NAS) at the same time as the ambulance is dispatched.
Both responders will then proceed to the call.
In the last 12 months, the group have installed new Public Access Defibrillators at the Heronswood Childcare Centre, Edmond Rice Secondary School and at Cogan’s Garage, bringing the total of public access defibrillators to over 25 in and around Carrigaline, with 12 of these being 24-hour defibrillators.
Pat said: ‘We are delighted to be able to give something back to the community with five new Public Access Defibrillator phone boxes.
‘Defibrillators will be installed in old-style telephone boxes using vintage P&T green and cream colours. Our first box has been installed in the Sail Garden on Crosshaven Road, with the remaining locations proposed for Church Road at the Church of Ireland Church, Cork Road at Janeville, Pipers Cross/ Wrenville area and the Owenabue plaza,’ he explained.
The PADs are accessed via a keypad code which can be requested from the ambulance service.
The group, which was awarded the County Mayor’s Award in 2017, is always looking for new members. Contact them at [email protected] or see their Facebook page for more.