Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to consider the purchase the purchase of several potentially life-saving defibrillators for use across the borough.
The council’s community planning committee discussed the issue at a meeting in The Braid on Tuesday, May 10.
According to the report presented to council, the total cost of 23 new machines would be approximately £28,750 - around £1,250 per unit.
The report recommended that an additional eight defibrillators be procured for the Larne area, seven of which would be situated at “priority one” sites which have a high volume of staff, usage and strenuous activity types. These sites would also be the priority areas for defibrillator purchase.
In Larne, these have been identified as Sandy Bay pavilion, Greenland Community Centre, Glenlough Community Centre, Millbrook Community Centre, Linn Road Community Centre, Larne Market Yard and Larne Depot. Meanwhile, Glynn Community Centre has been identified as a priority two site, defined as a facility with “high level usage and more sedentary activities”.
The report advises that the provision of defibrillators at major council facilities “would be viewed as a positive and prudent measure by ratepayers.”
It continues: “Over the last few years, a number of incidents have been reported-both locally and nationally where the absence of a defibrillator onsite has been noted. While it is difficult to state categorically that this would have altered the final outcome, the absence of a defibrillator is still often considered as a missed opportunity.”
The council report recommends that, where possible, the defibrillators should be made “accessible to the community”.
With the priority one defibrillators costing £17,500, the report advises signposting community groups and clubs to the British Heart Foundation, Mid and East Antrim Grants Support Scheme and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for support in purchasing defibrillators and training equipment at lower priority locations.
The motion, proposed by Cllr Patrice Hardy, was seconded by Cllr P Reid.
Following the meeting, a council spokesperson commented: “If the decision is ratified by full council, officers will prepare an implementation plan for the Priority 1 locations.
“The costs provided within the report were estimates only. The final costs are subject to review of AEDs already available at or close to Priority 1 locations, which will determine the final number required, and to the outcome of Council procurement procedures.
“The Committee agreed that for Priority 2 and 3 locations, council officers should signpost local community groups and clubs to the potential schemes available to support them to purchase AEDs.”