Seamus Moran and Derek Phelan, Laois Defibrillators Group presenting Laois County Council Cathaoirleach John King with the Defibrillator for Rathdowney at Brewery Bridge Picture Denis Byrne
A project that will see the first public access defibrillators installed in Portlaoise and Rathdowney will be launched next week.
The Laois Defibrillator Group was established to increase public awareness and accessibility to cardiac defibrillators.
Group members Peter Naughton, Sheila Coyle, Seamus Moran and Derek Phelan carried out research on defibrillator locations in Laois and have now secured three new defibrillators and nine insulated external storage boxes for other locations.
Derek Phelan said public access defibrillators are vital.
“Towns like Portlaoise and Rathdowney did not have any defibrillator available for public use so our initial aim was to locate defibrillators in these areas as a matter of priority.
“This project has been funded through contributions from several councillors, Portlaoise Lions Club and Laois Sports Partnership.
“With the funding raised a total of three defibrillators and nine insulated external boxes have been secured. Two defibrillators will be located in Portlaoise and one in Rathdowney.
“The remaining six defibrillator boxes will be provided to communities who already have a defibrillator located locally but are now willing to house it outdoors for community accessibility.
“We would like to raise additional funding in the months ahead in order to provide other defibrillators in areas where coverage is low,” he said.
Their research found a total of 112 defibrillators were located in Laois, some of these are publicly available and our priority has been to A these accessible at all times.
A Facebook page was set up entitled Laois Locate a Defib. This page is dedicated to generating awareness of the importance of public access to Defibrillators, and to make everybody aware of the Location of the nearest Defibrillator to them.
“In an emergency situation, it is important that responders are able to access a defibrillator within four minutes of the casualty collapsing, with this in mind it is vital that everybody knows where their nearest defibrillator is located and that it is accessible at all times.
“All Defibrillators identified throughout the County will now be registered with the National Ambulance Service so that anyone phoning the emergency telephone number of 112 or 999 will be told where their closest Defibrillator is located,” Mr Phelan added.