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Dublin gets first ‘phone box’ defibrillator in Stoneybatter

About 50 local people gathered in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, on Saturday for the unveiling of the capital’s first “phone box” public defibrillator.

The defibrillator is fitted in a traditional Irish green and white phone box on Aughrim St. The installation was organised by local resident Alan Ecock who spotted a similar installation in Killarney when on holidays last year.

Dublin’s Deputy Lord Mayor, Mary Fitzpatrick presided over the official opening of a phone box in Stoneybatter today. The phonebox houses the defibrillator which can deliver a life-saving electric shock to a victim of cardiac arrest.

The box is located on Aughim street at Stoneybatter Green and is the first in Dublin to be set up by the Heart of Ireland project. Members of the Dublin Firebrigade gave free CPR demonstrations on the day.

Dublin Fire Brigade assistant chief fire officer John Keogh commended the local community for organising the installation.

“I was fortunate enough to give two awards recently on behalf of Dublin Fire Brigade,” he said. “Two people happened to be in the right place at the right time. A person went down – no pulse, not breathing.

“They rang 999 and were talked through what to do and how to do it. They were asked was there a defibrillator nearby but there wasn’t.

“Simultaneously Dublin Fire brigade were activated and within five minutes we had a fire engine, an ambulance and an advanced paramedic crew on the scene. One shock is all it took for that man to survive.”

Local man Alan Ecock came up with the idea after spotting an installation in Killarney last year and explained how it works:

He added today: “When you approach the defibrillator box, you’re asked to dial 999. Once you dial 999 you’ll be put through to the ambulance service. The ambulance service will give you the PIN number over the phone and they’ll dispatch a paramedic to the scene as well. If you need assistance working the defibrillator, that will be given over the phone until you’re joined by the paramedic.”

Speaking before the launch, Mr Ecock said the initiative was an important one for the community in Stoneybatter, and hopes for more to appear across the city.”

“‘This initiative is so important for us in Stoneybatter and will help us support the community and save lives. We see this as just the start – and with the support of Dublin City Council we might just see more retro phone boxes defibs across the city.”

Brigid Sinnott, Resuscitation Manager at the Irish Heart Foundation, said: “When a person suffers a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10% every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation. If CPR is commenced immediately, the persons chance of survival doubles.

“AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) are simple to use, and need to be available, accessible and in working order to make the difference in communities.

“We are delighted that the local people in Stoneybatter will benefit from this new AED and it will improve their chance of surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest in their community.’


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