A defibrillator and CPR programme at Dublin Airport has saved 28 lives since it was first introduced, recently saving the life of a man who had a serious cardiac event.

The defibrillator and CPR programme was set up in 2003, with over 50 defibrillators located around the airport.

David McMillan was recently travelling with his companion Alastair Hamilton to Uganda last October, as David entered the Departures Hall at Terminal 1, he began to feel unwell and subsequently collapsed.

Dublin Airport Police and Fire officers who are trained in CPR and defibrillator use responded immediately using one of the defibrillators to administer a series of shocks to revive him. He was then brought to the Mater Hospital.

“I literally survived to tell the tale because of the swift action and professional training of the airport’s first responders Sgt. Keith Pedreschi and Paramedic Brendan Conway.

“I’m here today because of them and I want to sincerely thank them and all those at Dublin Airport who took such good care of me,” said David who was at Dublin Airport recently to complete the journey to Uganda he had intended to take last October.

“I know that, had this event occurred while I was travelling to the airport or even while on board the aircraft, the outcome could have been very different. It really is wonderful to be here today and have the opportunity to thank my life savers in person,” he added.

Dublin Airport Chief Fire Officer Gerry Keogh said it is hugely rewarding when a passenger walks through the door to thank them.

Keogh said: “The airport defibrillator programme began in 2003 and since then not only have we managed to save 28 lives, but we have also raised CPR and defibrillator awareness both in Dublin Airport and with the 100 other companies located on the campus.

“We are delighted to welcome David and Alastair back to Dublin Airport. It’s a testament to the training, professionalism and team work of airport first responders that David is here today, looking fit and well, and in a position to meet those who saved his life.”

The emergency response for cardiac arrest training has also been rolled out to 15 taxi drivers that operate at Dublin Airport. Dublin Airport has also funded defibrillators for several local organisation through its €10 million Community Fund.

The fund will re-open for submissions on September 1. For more information, an application form, and a handy how-to-apply guide see www.dublinairport.com/community-fund.