A joint campaign between firefighters and ambulance personnel in Athy, Co. Kildare will see the members ‘Shock Athy’ over the coming weeks as they plan to raise funds to purchase three defibrillators for the communities they serve.
Discussions are taking place between the organisers and local businesses in an effort to choose the three most suitable sites for the defibrillators, which organisers say one each should ideally be placed at either end of the town and one placed in the town centre. The life-saving units will need to be easily accessed and kept safe and in a warm environment.
When sites are chosen and approved, the Athy based unit of the Order of Malta have agreed to provide free training to volunteers on how to use the defibrillators and other defibrillators nearby. Both the fire and ambulance personnel involved in the initiative have stressed that the defibrillators, when in place, are there to back up the services and not replace them.
Photo: Mayor of Kildare, Councillor Ivan Keatley with Fire and Ambulance group
As part of the fundraising initiatives, Athy Fire Service will be holding a Table Quiz on Friday 11th November in Clancy’s Bar, Leinster street Athy. There will also be a Car Wash say on Saturday 12th November from 10am.
Local businesses in Athy are supporting the firefighters and ambulance staff in their ‘Shock Athy’ campaign. Some businesses have already donated spot prizes for a raffle on the night of the table quiz, while some other businesses have kindly offered cash donations in order to help raise funds for the three defibrillators.
Kildare Fire Service and the National Ambulance Service is also supporting this worthy campaign.
Initiative for the Community
Speaking at the launch tonight, Station Officer Ben Woodhouse said ‘The fire station is the central part of the community, and should be open to the public as often as possible and on foot of that, firefighters here in Athy try and do something for the town and community of Athy and this year we are hoping to raise funds to purchase 3 to 4 defibrillators”.
Photo: Station Officer Ben Woodhouse
SO Woodhouse outlined that the initial idea came from Fire Fighter Paul O’ Rourke-Glynn who said they should have public accessible defibrillators in the town. ‘Although this may not be a primary function of the fire service, we do have an excellent working relationship with the Athy Ambulance Service so we took on board FF O’ Rourke-Glynn’s idea and got in touch with the ambulance service who have been more than happy to help us with this initiative and with further support from Pat O’ Rourke and his team at the Athy Order of Malta’.
Both Chris Rowan and Nigel Kelly to the National Ambulance Service, based in Athy, outlined to invited guests what the procedure and how the defibrillators will operate once they are purchased and houses in the town. The units will be enclosed in an enclosed box which is alarmed and anyone who has been trained to use it will have a pin code to open the box and use the defibrillator.
Ambulance personnel Nigel Kelly said ‘In the chain of survival, early access and early intervention, early CPR defibrillation is vital in saving a person’s life and having these in any community will help greatly with preventing loss of life’.
Photo: Nigel Kelly, Athy Ambulance Service
Speaking to EmergencyTimes.ie after the launch, FF Paul O’ Rourke-Glynn said that there are up to 40 tables for the table quiz and so far, many of those have been booked. A table of four is €40 and anyone interested in booking remaining tables should contact any of the fire fighters in Athy.
Photo: Local supporter Brian Dooley with Fire and Ambulance group
Athy Fire Service and Athy Ambulance Service personnel are delighted with the support so far and wish to thank all who have done so up to now and are hoping that other businesses or organisations in the town can also contribute to what is essentially a life-saving cause.
Photo: Local Councillor Aoife Breslin with Fire and Ambulance group
Photo: Local Councillor Mark Wall with SO Woodhouse and Community Group
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