T: 074 91 27056 (Letterkenny)/ 074 97 25432 (Donegal Town)  E: info@dldc.org

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DLDC and DVC are asking you to ‘Locate, Visit, and Watch’ for its Donegal Defib Awareness Campaign

Donegal Local Development Clg (DLDC) and the Donegal Volunteer Centre (DVC) are launching a Donegal Defib Awareness Campaign which is asking the public to put their hearts into becoming defib aware.

The Donegal Defib Awareness Campaign kicks off on February 24th and is calling on the public to do three key things – Locate, Visit, and Watch.  1) Know how and where to locate a defibrillator in your community.  2) Visit your local defibrillator so you’re familiar with exactly where it is located. A community centre or a football pitch can be large places to search in an emergency. 3) Lastly, watch a video guide on how to properly use a defibrillator so you feel more confident using one if needed in an emergency. Visit the Irish Heart Foundation YouTube channel for video guides.

The Donegal Defib Awareness Campaign aims to make people aware of the locations of lifesaving devices in our communities.  Defibrillators are placed in areas across Donegal where they are most needed, such as shops, community facilities, public buildings and sports grounds.  It is essential that people are equipped with the knowledge they need to be able to access to a defibrillator, which can mean the difference between life and death for a person who is going into cardiac arrest. Every minute without CPR or defibrillation, a person’s chances of survival from a cardiac arrest decreases by 10%.  Public awareness of their closest defibrillator is critical to people having the best chance of survival from cardiac arrest.

Commenting on the Donegal Defib Awareness Campaign, Harry Walsh, Former Editor of Donegal News, said: “Throughout my years as an editor, I’ve heard many extraordinary stories of people being kept alive thanks to the swift use of a defibrillator.  However, it was not until I went into cardiac arrest in my own home, in rural Donegal, that the importance of community defibrillators and those with the skill to use them, came into sharp focus.   Within minutes of calling the emergency services, a team of locally based Community First Responders arrived at my door and saved my life. These are not medics, simply local volunteers with lifesaving training, without whom I would most likely not be alive today.”

Donegal Defib Awareness Campaign is also calling on people to consider becoming a Community First Responder in their local area. Community First Responders (CFR) are volunteers who are trained to attend certain types of emergencies calls in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potential life-threatening emergency in the first vital minutes and provide the appropriate care including CPR & defibrillation, until the more highly skilled ambulance crew arrives on scene. To find out more please contact info@volunteerdonegal.ie.

Speaking about the importance of Community First Responders, Teague McFadden, Ardara CFRs, said: “Community first responders play a vital rural in very rural locations such as Ardara. Like a lot of places in Donegal, we are almost an hour drive from the hospital. Having a team of volunteers who can respond within a few minutes and provide care until the ambulance arrives is invaluable. The call out rate is very low, we might use the defib a few times a year, but the reward in knowing you played a role is saving someone’s life is incredibly high. I would encourage every person to get defib aware and, if they can, volunteer to become a first responders. CFR groups operate a buddy system so you are never on your own when responding and they provide regular top-up training and support for all volunteers especially after an incident. Get in touch with your local group if you’re interested in getting involved – you won’t regret it.”

For more information on Donegal Defib Awareness Campaign please visit www.dldc.org.


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