GARDA stations in the West Cork Division are to be equipped with defibrillators as part of a new pilot scheme by the National Ambulance Service, which will see gardaí receive full training in how to effectively use them.
The announcement was made at the West Cork Garda Division Gala Ball held in Fernhill House Hotel in Clonakilty, supporting West Cork Rapid Response and Dr Jason van der Velde.
It is understood that this initiative will form part of a much wider remit involving different agencies in the West Cork region in the provision of defibrillators, including plans for all patrol cars to eventually be equipped with the life-saving equipment.
The National Ambulance Service, in conjunction with An Garda Siochána, has agreed a joint venture where the staff from the National Ambulance Service will train gardaí in the West Cork area in the use of the defibrillators, which will then be placed in certain garda stations across this region.
Speaking at the sold-out event, Fine Gael TD and junior health minister Jim Daly said that officials from the National Ambulance Service confirmed to him that the new pilot scheme will be trialled in West Cork.
‘This scheme will be reviewed by the National Ambulance Service and An Garda Siochána to determine if it can be rolled out on a national basis,’ said Deputy Daly.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to commend An Garda Siochána and Chief Supt Con Cadogan on taking this pro-active step. I would also like to extend my thanks to the many volunteers in the Community First Responder groups for the work they do across West Cork.’
The devices will be included on the Computer Aided Dispatch System that is used within National Emergency Operations Centre and will be available for use by An Garda Siochána, members of the public, community and local Community First Responder groups.