Local firm's defibrillator a gift for the community

December 3rd, 2015 12:00 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Gerard and Claire Kirby from Kirby & Sons Haulage who sponsored the new defibrillator, pictured behind them. (Photo: John Allen)

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A LOCAL transport company in Ballinhassig has kindly donated a defibrillator to the community and it now takes pride and place in the centre of the village. 

The members of Ballinhassig Community Alert were delighted to hear that local transport firm Billy Kirby & Sons Ltd would sponsor a defibrillator for the community when they first discussed the idea.

Carrie Jeffers, secretary of Ballinhassig Community Alert said that they were delighted to receive one, as they are quite expensive.

‘We had been talking about putting one up ourselves somewhere central in the village and then Claire Kirby approached us and said her company would donate a defibrillator for the village,’ Carmel told The Southern Star.

‘We’ve undertaken a lot of work in the parish, like putting up Community Alert signs and installing a security system in the parish hall, but we just wouldn’t have had the funds for a defibrillator so we are very grateful to Billy Kirby & Sons for their kind donation.’

The defibrillator was put up two months ago outside Cottells Gala shop in the village and a number of local people in the village have been trained in how to use it in the event of an emergency.

With defibrillators in most communities around the country, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has called on all groups with automated external defibrillators (AED) to urgently check that the recommended safety and maintenance updates on their devices have been undertaken. 

This advice is being issued after the HPRA identified some 940 defibrillators in Ireland, incorporating five particular models, where a corrective action remains outstanding. 

Updates to these AEDs are needed immediately to ensure that the devices will work as necessary in a life saving situation. The HFRA warns that weather temperature will affect a defibrillator’s performance and all AED devices should be stored correctly and regularly checked during the winter months ahead.

‘We are urgently calling on defibrillators device owners to now check if they have an affected AED and where necessary to contact the manufacturer or supplier immediately to ensure the correction required for their defibrillator is carried out without further delay,’ said Anne Tobin, HPRA’s medical devices vigilance manager.

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