Henderson Group installs 100 defibrillators in Northern Ireland
MORE than 100 public access defibrillators have been installed across Northern Ireland this year, thanks to a fundraising and awareness campaign by retailer Henderson Group.
Last October the company, which owns the Spar, Eurospar and Vivo brand franchises in the north, launched a campaign for their retailers to raise funds with the public to install life-saving Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) outside more than 300 stores, while raising awareness of the importance of CPR.
The campaign was backed by the department of health and Dr Michael McBride, Northern Ireland's chief medical officer.
Installation began at the start of this year and, to date, more than 100 have been installed in locations including Belfast, Derry, Lisburn, Newry, Armagh, Killylea, Moy, Artigarvan, Holywood, Greyabbey and Magherafelt.
During the three months of fundraising at the end of 2015, stores raised £1,500 for each defibrillator and its special temperature-controlled cabinet.
Henderson Group also set up a dedicated website listing procedures to follow in the event of a cardiac arrest and provided training at conferences and staff training days.
The next 100 devices will be installed over the summer, with the remainder being installed by the end of the year.
If a member of the public witnesses somebody taking a cardiac arrest, which means that their heart has stopped beating and they are not breathing, it is essential that they phone 999 immediately and begin CPR compressions, while calling for a member of the public to fetch a defibrillator if one is in the area.
“The defibrillators that have been installed are automatic, so no training is required for use," Bronagh Luke of the Henderson Group said.
"As soon as one is activated, the user will be talked through the process by the machine accompanied by visual aids while the Ambulance Service operator remains on the phone throughout the incident.”