Several local sports clubs have been presented with new life-saving equipment as part of the ‘Defibrillators for Sport’ initiative.
Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA handed over defibrillators to representatives of Hazama Judo Club, Lisburn Gladiators Fencing Club, Rockmount Golf Club, Moira FC, Lisnagarvey Boxing Club and Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club on Monday, October 3.
The Minister took the opportunity to launch ‘Defibrillators for Sport’ at a council-organised celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Professor Frank Pantridge, the man responsible for inventing the life-saving defibrillator machine.
The event at Lagan Valley Island marked the start of the roll-out of 380 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) being awarded to sports clubs and organisations across Northern Ireland.
“By launching this initiative there are a number of key messages that I want to deliver about this life-saving equipment including the need for training and awareness on CPR and the benefits of having an AED should the need arise,” the Minister said.
“I also believe that it is imperative that the extension of public AED provision should be properly mapped on the existing Northern Ireland Ambulance Service System, so that the use of an AED is supported by professional advice from an Ambulance Service controller in the knowledge that paramedic assistance has been requested and is on its way.”
The initiative will be rolled out through Sport NI who will be undertaking the initial training and awareness session with all those who have been successful in being awarded an AED.
Speaking about the celebration event, the Minister continued: “The legacy of Frank Pantridge’s work is not only the immense benefit of defibrillation within the professional health sector but also the growing desire across the Northern Ireland community for public access to the vital life saving Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
“I am delighted that the council shares my desire to see more AEDs available in communities and public places following their provision of a further 10 within the council area. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate those who have worked so hard in making this initiative so successful.”