The Donegal village phone box that will save local lives

Castlefin Community Responder Group to provide local defibrillator

The Donegal village phone box that will save local lives

The new telephone box at The Diamond, Castlefin which will house the new defibrillator

The heartbeat of any community is its people and in Castlefin there is ample evidence to show that it's beating loud and clear.

And if further evidence was needed a soon to be installed defibrillator highlights just how switched on the locals are.

A defibrillator is to be fitted in a traditional Irish green and white phone box at The Diamond and while it’s great to see such an iconic landmark being brought back into existence, it's even better to know it will probably save lives.

The installation has been organised by the Castlefin Community Responders Group who were formed just a year ago in January 2020.

The group is involved in the placement of emergency medical equipment in the town and area as well as organising training in basic life support skills. This project will be of benefit to all members of the community if needed.

Before we go any further, just to be 100% clear as to exactly what a defibrillator is and how important they are.
A defibrillator, also known as Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that restores a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to the heart. Defibrillators are crucially important in restoring the heart’s beating if the heart suddenly stops.

Different types of defibrillators work in different ways. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which are in many public spaces, were developed to save the lives of people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Even untrained bystanders can use these devices in an emergency.

When a person suffers a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation.

If CPR is commenced immediately, the person’s chance of survival doubles. AEDs are simple to use and need to be available, accessible and in working order to make the difference in communities.

The group secured funding for the purchase of the important life-saving equipment with the assistance of local councillors Gerry Crawford, Gary Doherty, Liam Doherty, Martin Harley, Frank McBrearty and Patrick McGowan as well as much support from many businesses and people living in Castlefin and Finn Valley area.

Work has been continuing since the telephone box arrived in November with the kind support of the Tidy Towns and the local CE Scheme members, Nicholas, Gerard and John who have done fantastic work to date in preparing for this project.
This initiative is so important for the town as it is an opportunity to put a life-saving device in the heart of the community.
As well as the defibrillator the group will also be purchasing outdoor cabinets, face masks, information sheets and other equipment associated with their efforts.

It is hoped the entire community will view the new facility as a progressive step forward in terms of protecting the community.

People use the public payphone service less and less these days and as a result these structures in our towns are a thing of the past.

Let's hope this one remains around for a long time but not used too often!

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