Limerick Sucide Watch: Ger McNamara, Sarah Counihan, John Hehir, Sarah Hopkins, Dave Mullen and Shirley Johnston Picture: Keith Wiseman
A DONATION of critical radio equipment to the Limerick Suicide Watch group could “save lives”, the voluntary organisation has said.
The donation was made by Meath-based company EMR Integrated Solutions to the suicide prevention group and includes two-way radio handsets, a charger, base station and antenna and serves a team of over 40 volunteers.
Volunteers can now communicate with each other more reliably, intervene more effectively in life-threatening incidents and summon the support of emergency services as required, the service, which was only established in May of last year, said.
The handsets provide robust, high quality voice communications within the team, but the radio frequency is also linked to the Irish Coast Guard, Limerick Marine Search and Rescue and Limerick Fire and Rescue, significantly speeding up reaction times to potentially fatal incidents.
Limerick Suicide Watch chairman Ger McNamara said the donation was “critical" for the group, which is based in the Tait Business Centre on Dominic Street in the city.
“Our volunteers now have handsets that are easy-to-use and reliable and they can request assistance from colleagues or emergency services much faster. With a relatively high suicide rate in Limerick, our ability to respond to incidents needs to be professional and this donation allows us to achieve that.”
Volunteers in the Suicide Watch typically work in shift of four hours and operate foot and bike patrols along the banks of the Shannon.
The group is active for three days during the week from 9pm to 1am and at weekends from 12am to 4am. The service hopes in time to increase its mobile patrols to seven days a week, extending the support it provides to people in difficulty.
EMR managing director Mark Quinn said the firm “admire” the initiative taken by Limerick Suicide Watch.
“Our organisation has a strong sense of corporate social responsibility and we support wholeheartedly initiatives such as Limerick Suicide Watch,” he said.
“We admire the courage and bravery of the volunteers who work in extremely difficult conditions and in all weathers and we’re delighted to support them in the valuable work they do,” he added.
If you need to talk to someone, or have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please contact the Samaritans on the helpline at 116-123, or Pieta House on 1800-247247.