Quick-thinking Mid Ulster Council staff have saved the lives of two men who suffered cardiac arrests.
Attendants rushed into action at Cookstown Leisure Centre after a man had a heart attack while having a morning swim, while in the other incident passers-by ran for help to Magherafelt Leisure Centre after a man collapsed on the street.
Fortunately, there were defibrillators in the centres and staff were able to use them effectively in both incidents. The casualties made full recoveries.
The details of the medical emergencies emerged at last week’s monthly meeting of Mid Ulster Council after a motion was introduced calling for the roll out of defibrillators across all council offices, leisure centres, community centres and areas of high public footfall.
More people will now have access to the emergency devices after it was passed unanimously by all parties.
The motion was introduced by Sinn Fein Councillor Sean McPeake to increase the chance of survival for cardiac arrest victims in the district.
Quite a lot of council sites don’t have a defibrillator and I request that the council should remedy this in its offices and also in areas of high footfall
The Magherafelt representative said that the survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests was just 7 percent, but this increased to 70% with the use of a defibrillator.
“Quite a lot of council sites don’t have a defibrillator and I request that the council should remedy this in its offices and also in areas of high footfall”, he said, before commending the work being done by voluntary organisations and the GAA in installing the devices, in particular the achievements of the Cormac McAnallen Trust.
The motion was supported by all the parties, with the DUP’s Clement Cuthbertson calling for the council to set up training centres, and SDLP Councillor Martin Kearney warning that an increasing number of young people were suffering cardiac arrests.