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Only six of 56 life-saving defibrillators on Council property available 24/7

Darkley missing defibrillator
An example of an externally-fitted defibrillator

Only six of 56 life-saving defibrillators on ABC council-owned premises are available on a 24/7 basis.

That figure has led to calls for all defibrillators to be fitted externally on buildings.

Defibrillators are lifesaving devices, and they are installed in many commercial and public buildings.

SDLP Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon said the council grant-aided the installation of seventy-eight new devices across the council area in recent times.

“One of the conditions attached to this funding,” he said was that “these devices must be fitted externally and available at any time of the day or night”.

“This is right and proper, and I am delighted with the uptake of the scheme,” he added.

“However, this got me thinking and I asked Council Officials to provide a detailed breakdown of the number and location of defibrillators on Council property such as leisure and community facilities.

“I was astonished to learn that of the fifty-six devices in Council owned facilities only six of these are fitted externally and therefore cannot be accessed if a building is closed.

“This is astonishing; we are asking the community and voluntary sector to abide by one set of rules, which are right and proper, but we as a council are not following our own rules.

“Defibrillators are a necessity, and they must be accessible at all times of the day or night. Any delay in accessing a device could see vital moments lost and ultimately lives lost.

“I have asked Council Officials to being forward a detailed scheme for these to be fitted externally on our buildings. This has to be priority work and I hope to see progress in the not-to-distant future.”

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