Miriam Gallagher, PRO Grange Residents Association at the launch of the parish defribrilator with Sharon Conway, Aoife O'Carroll and Deirdre O'Dwyer | PICTURE: Dave Gaynor
GRANGE Residents Association hope that their new defibrillator never needs to be used, but it is always good to have it on hand in emergencies.
A huge crowd turned up at the launch at the old school house last week as the whole community are invested in it.
Martin O’Connor, vice chairman, said when they formed the residents association in 2013 one of their projects was a defibrillator. Between the unit and training it cost over €4,000 – all raised by themselves. Information leaflets were distributed to all households in Grange.
If somebody in the area falls seriously ill Martin said the first thing to do is ring 999 for the emergency services and then ring the mobile number on the leaflet.
“The co-ordinator on the day will contact two responders. They will go and get the defibrillator and bring it to the house. We’re kind of a back-up. We will come and do CPR and use the defibrillator if needs be,” said Martin. Depending on the time of day and traffic it could take around 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.
Currently they have 22 trained volunteers on a roster. “There are people on duty every day. We are doing it from 8am to 8pm. We need more volunteers and we will get them trained,” said Martin, who is a trained operator.
When the residents association began their work in 2013, purchasing a defibrillator was one of their goals and they have accomplished it through a lot of hard work.
“We held dances, a country market and at the moment we are looking forward to a walk from Liscannor to Doolin on Sunday, April 29. We have sponsorship cards and all are welcome to take part. We are doing that in association with Limerick Suicide Watch. We are doing ongoing fundraising for the defibrillator. Batteries have to be updated and hopefully we will have new volunteers coming on stream. They will have to be trained too,” said Martin.
The hard-working Grange Residents Association created a 1916 memorial jubilee garden, are always out cutting grass, built a new car park at the rear of the old school house, and are working hand in hand with the council to renovate the building into a modern community centre.