Dublin Fire Brigade unveils fourteen new public access defibrillators

by Alison O'Hanlon
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In support of international ‘Restart a Heart’ day, Dublin Fire Brigade unveils fourteen new Public Access Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) located prominently outside each of its fire stations across the city and county.

This is a significant step forward in enhancing community safety and will be available 24/7 to provide immediate assistance especially during critical moments when every second counts. These AEDs will guide an untrained person through Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, with voice prompts and encouragement while paramedics make their way to the patient and guidance is provided by Emergency Service Controllers over the 999/112 call.

John Keogh, 3rd Officer, Operations Northside Dublin Fire Brigade, Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithi de Roiste with Heart attack victim Pauline Ryan, Finglas and John McNally, District Officer, Finglas Fire Station.

The installation of the AEDs was prompted by an incident which happened outside Finglas fire station in January of this year. Pauline Ryan suffered a cardiac arrest in Finglas village while she was a passenger in a car being driven by her sister, who had the presence of mind to pull in to the fire station. At the time, the fire appliance, ambulance and all their medical equipment were out at another call, co-incidently, another Cardiac Arrest. Fortunately, the District Officer and a Firefighter/Paramedic were in the station and were able to perform life-saving CPR on Pauline until the arrival of colleagues from Phibsborough Fire Station, who were able to successfully defibrillate and resuscitate Pauline.

There is a simultaneous unveiling of the AEDs across all fourteen locations, and we are joined at Finglas Fire Station by Dublin Lord Mayor Daithí de Róiste. Speaking at the launch the Lord Mayor said, “I’m honoured to unveil the Public Access Defibrillator here at Finglas Fire Station, and to be part of the simultaneous launch of thirteen other AEDs across the city. The life-saving piece of equipment is a positive addition to the local community and to the people of Dublin.”

Dublin’s Chief Fire Officer is represented today by Assistant Chief Fire Officer Greg O’Dwyer who commented, “The Firefighter/Paramedics and Officers of Dublin Fire Brigade recognise the fire, rescue and medical role they provide in the wider community but also their closest neighbours to our 14 stations. Obviously we hope that these AEDs never have to be used, but we also hope that the installation of the AEDs provide some piece of mind and reassurance to our neighbours or commuters who pass our stations.”

Pauline, whose medical emergency prompted the installation of the AEDs joined with the Firefighters at the launch. Pauline said, “Only for the quick actions of my sister, the two firefighters in Finglas fire station and their colleagues from Phibsborough, I may not be here today. To them I am forever grateful. Knowing what I know now, I would encourage everyone from a young age to learn CPR. It is a life skill, literally“

Dublin Lord Mayor Daithi de Roiste with Heart attack victim Pauline Ryan, Finglas.

This initiative aligns with Dublin Fire Brigade’s dedication to proactive community engagement and safety. By having these AEDs at our fire stations, we aim to bridge the gap between emergency services and the public fostering a sense of unity and co-operation within our great city. Dublin Fire Brigade encourages members of the community to take a course in CPR and the use of an AED. Visit www.irishheart.ie for a list of available “Heartsaver AED and CPR” courses in your area.

The AEDs are located outside each of the fourteen fire stations in a heated secure box. Members of the public can access the defibrillators by calling 999/112 stating their location. Simultaneously medical help will be dispatched and guidance will be given over the phone.  

Featured image: Dublin Lord Mayor Daithi de Roiste with Heart attack victim Pauline Ryan, Finglas and her grandson Parker Ryan.

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