THE life of a 16-year-old boy – who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest – was saved by his friends who had learned CPR in Transition Year.
When John Kearney, CEO of the Irish Community Rapid Response, heard Tom Geaney’s story, he saw an opportunity to teach more people the life-saving skill through a new organisation called Operation Resuscitation.
John, together with Tom Geaney’s parents, John and Fiona, established Operation Resuscitation and recently they rolled out the pilot project in Killarney, the place where Tom’s life was saved.
Both John and Fiona Geaney are GPs, so they were well-placed to help with the organisation that is hoping to train half the nation’s population in CPR over the next ten years.
John Kearney told The Southern Star that it was the organisation’s objective to train at least one person in every household how to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.
‘The statistics,’ he said, ‘are frightening. The equivalent of two jumbo jets full of people die unnecessarily every year in Ireland from cardiac arrest simply because they do not receive CPR on time.’
John explained that the Irish Community Rapid Response – an organisation that he established in 2008 – is a voluntary organisation that works in partnership with existing emergency services, and now is lending its support to Operation Resuscitation.
The pilot group in Killarney is currently focusing on training 25% of the population over the next three months, starting in the schools and sports clubs, and branching out to businesses and community groups.
A follow-up initiative in Kilkenny is scheduled to start in February, followed by another group in North Cork in March. For further information about setting up a group in your area contact Irish Community Rapid Response on 086 2412855 or email: [email protected]
John said: ‘It takes as little as sixty minutes to learn the basics of CPR, but those sixty minutes could save a person’s life.’