I called for the installation of easily identifiable phone box style defibrillator stations nationwide

Today I called for the installation of easily identifiable phone box style defibrillators stations in towns and villages nationwide.

Teenager, Tom Geaney, whose life was saved through the use of a defibrillator, opened the county’s first defibrillator telephone box in Kilarney this week.

Historically the phone box played a huge part of Ireland’s communities – it was the lifeline that kept families together Now they can do that again by housing these life-saving devices and help the public recognise and remember the locations of the AEDs.

AED’s have been proven to significantly improve the chances of survival for someone who has an ‘out of hospital’ cardiac arrest. Earlier this month, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) highlighted that approximately 750 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in Ireland require urgent safety and maintenance updates.

It is my understanding that Eir, who own the remaining phone boxes,  have been approached by a number of local tidy town groups and local authorities nationwide with a view to converting the old phone boxes into defibrillator stations. The issue Eir has however is the liability for the boxes – i.e. whoever takes over the boxes must take on liability for them.

As such I have asked the Minister to consider taking over the remaining boxes, including the liability and the conversion of them to defibrillator stations.

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