Athlone Emergency Defibrillator Group to ensure local community maintenance of life saving devices

A local group has been established to oversee the ongoing maintenance of defibrillators in Athlone and immediate environs.

The Athlone Emergency Defibrillators committee was formed in response to a pre-Christmas call from local paramedic Darren Mulledy who stressed the importance that all defibrillators within the community should be operational and ready to use at all times in the case of a life saving emergency.

Lauding the formation of the committee, Fine Gael Councillor, John Dolan, addressing the most recent sitting of the Athlone-Moate Municipal District, implored the local authority executive to place its defibrillators externally and encourage all Athlone businesses to do similarly allowing for 24 hour access in the case of medical emergencies.

“Speaking from personal experience, I know the true value of defibrillators given that my own life was saved by such a device when my heart stopped in 2017.

“We were hoping to have this group established in late 2019, early 2020, but unfortunately, Covid-19 prevented us from doing so. There are between 50 and 80 defibrillators in our town but we do not have 24 hour access to the devices and as you know, a life threatening medical emergency can occur at any time of the day.

“In many situations we cannot access defibrillators after working hours but if we, as a council, show leadership in this regard (by allowing 24 access to our devices ), then I am certain local businesses will follow,” Cllr Dolan asserted.

Cllr Dolan confirmed that the group is hopeful of registering all defibrillators located within Athlone and its environs on an app which lists the location of such devices nationally and aim to host future training sessions to ensure individuals are aware of how to use them.

The local paramedic has welcomed the establishment of the committee and called upon the Athlone public to support this initiative.

“I wish this group the best of luck going forward and I am delighted, at long last, to know that defibrillators will be checked regularly and ones that are available to the public will be 100 percent maintained to a very high standard.

“Athlone is your town please get behind this group and support their cause. Having defibrillators operating on a Public Access Defibrillators (PADS ) system will hopefully save lives in our town,” Darren stated.

Acknowledging the motion posed by Cllr Dolan, the local authority executive stated that the defibrillator currently installed in Athlone Civic Centre is not suitable for external placement.

“However, the council is open to the provision of additional defibrillators at external locations within available resources and with careful consideration of appropriate locations and is positively disposed to the provision of defibrillators by private businesses,” Mr Barry Kehoe, Director o


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