It has been a busy first four months for Portarlington First Responders, who are on 24 hour call for 999 emergencies.
Already the trained volunteers have responded to 28 calls, saved a life, and given essential treatment and comfort to patients and families in the area.
“We didn’t know what to expect, it has been quite challenging and interesting,” said Tomás McGuinness.
Now the team of twenty plus volunteers have a vital new piece of equipment, with the installation of a public defibrillator on the wall of the Square Garage in Market Square.
The unit was donated by the Tony Parker Foundation, who raise money for public defibrillators all around Ireland, in memory of a young Meath footballer who died suddenly.
The box protecting the unit has a special code and CCTV camera, and is temperature controlled, donated by Portarlington Pharmacy.
“This is another strand in trying to help our community,” said Tomás, who is hoping the unit will not be vandalised or stolen.
“We want the whole community to take ownership of this, you don’t know the day or hour that it’s someone in your family needing it,” he said.
PFA have their own portable defibrillator, but now the ambulance controllor can direct 999 callers to immediately use the street unit.
Mr McGuinness thanked the foundation, pharmacy and Square Garage, as well as signwriter Tommy Tynan, electrician Johnny Dunne, Love Port and the Lions Club for their support.
Anyone interesting in training as a volunteer can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 086 0255465