“Launch of Lucan Defibrillator Service a Spectacular Success”
At the invitation of Deputy Derek Keating and Jonah Roche, Managing Director of Skillshop, the launch of the new service in the Lucan area on Thursday last 13th September, was a spectacular success with the attendance of over 60 people in The Lord Lucan Public Lounge. All were welcomed by Deputy Derek Keating. “Representing many walks of life in Lucan including sporting organisations, local schools, local businesses, schools, the Irish Heart Foundation, the Gardaí, Boxing Clubs and Community Groups all gathered to endorse and contribute a new service which will in the foreseeable future become a template for a national service” said Deputy Derek Keating. “However this New Service would not have been possible without the support and sponsorship of The Lord Lucan, EUROSPAR Ballyowen Castle Shopping Centre and South Dublin County Council, as well as support from the Gardaí.” First Responders was a necessary component to the New Service. Present at the Launch present were those who have completed the initial training as “First Responders” to use the Defibrillator Service and apply first aid in situations where a person has a heart attack and loses consciousness. At the Official Launch, Deputy Derek Keating, Local TD, highlighted how this service will impact on what is one of the biggest health problems in Irish society with 5,000 people dying from heart attacks last year. A number of unforeseen events happened at the launch which Deputy Derek Keating said is a typical response from the residents of Lucan. In a great surprise and the most wonderful example of cross community cooperation and goodwill, representatives of Esker Football Club presented a new Defibrillator to Archbishop Ryan Senior National School who were represented by Teacher Miss. Maria Hoey. (Maria is a qualified nurse and a county footballer for Galway as well as her teaching in Lucan) Another significant event was the presence of Mr. John Fox, who has himself had a heart transplant and has now completed the training as a First Responder. Also present was the Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Heart Foundation who gave his full support to this project by endorsing the work of Jonah Roche and Deputy Derek Keating in initiating this pioneering service that will be a lead for the rest of the country. In addition Mr. Padraig McGarrigle of Liffey Sound FM was in attendance, representatives from Aspen Counselling Lucan and many representatives from sporting, business and community organisation as well as schools. Speaking at the launch, Deputy Keating said that he is “confident that many lives can be saved as a result of this new initiative and service”. The plan is to have a number of Defibrillators available 24/7 in different parts of the Lucan area and, when a situation arises, they will be immediately available to assist in keeping a patient alive while the emergency services and the ambulance services are summoned. Deputy Keating went on to say “we are all aware of the “golden hour” when a cardiac arrest takes place. I am very aware of this myself having had a family member find themselves in exactly this situation more recently and, although everything has worked out well there, it was a terrifying experience for us”. ”Lucan is a daily hive of activity when we consider that South Dublin County Council has installed new equipment in our parks to make available free of charge exercise routines and equipment for our residents” said Deputy Derek Keating. Along with this, there are many Soccer, GAA: Football, Hurling and Camogie, Boxing, Athletics, Rugby and other Sports and Fitness Clubs who are all providing a wonderful gift to our area. However, in the event of a person suffering a cardiac arrest and loses consciousness, it is comforting to know that a defibrillator service may be available at close hand. “It is my intention to raise this in our National Parliament at the highest level of administration with the various Ministers such as the Minister for Health, the Minister for Sport, the Minister for Justice, the Minister for Defence and the Minister for the Environment. I also plan to arrange for a visit to the Oireachtas Committee on Health & Children by Jonah Roche and the Irish Heart Foundation to explain to our policy makers the benefits of such a service throughout the country”. The evening concluded with the presentation of certificates to the first qualified first responders by Deputy Keating.