Defibrillator at Civic Centre could ‘help prevent a fatality’

Civic Centre. INCT 03-055-tc
Civic Centre. INCT 03-055-tc

Installing a defibrillator at Carrickfergus Civic Centre could help prevent a fatality, members of Mid and East Antrim Council have heard.

The local government authority approved the purchase of the life-saving equipment, which has a £1,200 price tag, during last Tuesday night’s meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee.

During the meeting, the absence of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at the Antrim Street venue was highlighted.

The issue had previously been raised at the Health and Safety committee and through the legacy Carrickfergus Borough Council.

However, a decision was never made to purchase the equipment “as the cost outweighed the perceived risk to staff and the public,” the report added.

AEDs are already available in several location throughout Carrick, including the Marina and the leisure centre, along with a number of locations in Whitehead.

However, first aiders have been calling for the installation of a defibrillator in the busy Civic Centre for several years.

Earlier this year, a member of the public tragically died at the premises as a result of heart failure.

Although the report stressed that this incident “may not have been preventable even if an AED had have been available”, it was noted that the demographic of the people using the Civic Centre was such as to warrant the need for a defibrillator to be installed.

The purchase of one of the machines could help prevent the death of an individual due to a reversible condition, such as heart arrhythmia.

“The cost of purchasing an AED for Carrickfergus Civic Centre is £1,211.94, which would be funded from existing budgets,” the members’ report continued.

All first aiders have been trained in their use and hold current qualifications, the report added.