Ballyfermot businesses donate €2,200 for funding of first responder training and defibrillator

By Maurice Garvey

A COUPLE of years ago, an elderly woman collapsed on the street in the shopping area of Grange Cross in Ballyfermot.

It turned out to be a fatal cardiac attack. What was even more tragic than the horrific incident, was that nobody in close vicinity of the shops knew what to do when the lady collapsed.

Training for New Defibrillator 01 29082017

This week, businesses in Grange Cross banded together to fund €2,200 for a “dummy-proof” defibrillator and first responder training – to make sure the next person in need of immediate assistance, can access the right equipment and help before an ambulance arrives.

The initiative was kickstarted six weeks ago by two local St John’s Ambulance members Padraig Allen and Mick Cardiff.

On Tuesday evening after stores had closed, up to 20 Grange Cross businesses went to the Ballyfermot Sports Complex to take part in life-saving training, carried out by volunteers from St John’s Ambulance.

Over the course of four hours, business owners and employees trained to recognise several life-threatening emergencies, provide CPR, cardiac first responder, and how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).

“Not everyone here will have reason to use it, but I’ve no doubt that somebody will use the AED to save someone’s life,” said Padraig.

The Ballyfermot Division of St John’s is one of the oldest in the suburbs of Dublin, having been founded in 1975.

Cherry Orchard resident Padraig (28), joined St John’s when he was a 10 years old, and used an AED to save his first life in 2008.

He said: “We were covering a fun run in Phoenix Park, and a man, who was actually from Thomond Road in Ballyfermot, collapsed. It was my first time to work on a patient suffering cardiac arrest. He was alive and talking within an hour in Blanchards-town Hospital.”

The AED will be placed inside the Centra over the next two weeks on the Ballyfermot Road.

Training for New Defibrillator 07 29082017

Allen continued: “A number of premises were looked at for access, and the owner of Centra, Gerry Ryan, agreed and had several staff put forward to be trained. They open at 6am and close at 10pm during the week days, this will catch rush hour, and school runs etc, especially when traffic and emergency services are more likely to be busy.”

Dublin City Council said they “don’t provide funding for such initiatives” in the South Central area.

“However, the South Central areas own administrative offices and leisure centres have defibrillators on site,” said a DCC spokesperson.

“This would be unknown to most people and shouldn’t be left for one group or organisation,” said Allen, who was delighted with the response from Grange Cross businesses.

He hopes to meet businesses in the lower part of Ballyfermot in the coming weeks, in an effort to introduce defibrillators to that part of the community.

 “The response (in Grange Cross) was positive and without delay, they saw a vision of having at least one to two employees from each business trained to cardiac first responder – community level. Cardiac first responder plays a vital role in keeping a person alive until they can receive expert clinical care.

“Lives have been lost on Main Road with nobody knowing what to do. I’m confident that the good-spirited people of Ballyfermot can make their community one of the safest in Ireland, with responders only a stone throw away. St John Ambulance and the business people of Ballyfermot funded this programme entirely without any local grant or funding from the local authority.”

St John Ambulance thanked O’Shea’s 79, Al’s Carpets, Haven Pharmacy Moloney’s, Centra, HeadMasters, Bolands Expert Hardware, Ger’s Deli, Jackie’s Florist, Downeys, Larry Masseys, Boylan’s Opticians, Molloy’s, Roma Takeaway, Kiely’s Pharmacy, Tim Young’s, and Pure Pharmacy.

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