In Ireland, 11,000 deaths occur annually from cardiovascular disease and it is estimated that 6,000 of these are from sudden cardiac arrest. With this in mind The Showgrounds Shopping Centre in Clonmel embarked on a fundraising campaign to purchase a defibrillator for the centre. Thanks to the generous support of the public, tenants and the Clonmel Heartsaver committee, the centre raised €4,000, enough for two defibrillators and a donation of a third to Clonmel Heartsaver.
With the support of their tenants, The Showgrounds hosted a raffle and an action-packed weekend of fun for all the family, combined with life-saving demonstrations by the Clonmel Heartsaver volunteers.
Commenting on the fundraising Julian Smith, Centre Manager expressed his sincere gratitude to the people of Clonmel and surrounding areas for their outstanding support of this worthy cause and of their continued support of the centre since its opening. “We were taken aback by the level of support from the general public; I think it’s a reflection of the good work of Clonmel Heartsaver and this very worthy cause. We are delighted to now be in a position to have a defibrillator and over 40 trained personnel on site”.
Survival rates from cardiac arrest decreases by 7-10% every minute, meaning that the prompt response by a trained member of the community could save a life. Clonmel Heartsaver is a voluntary multi-agency organisation that includes members of the South Tipperary Fire Service, HSE Ambulance Service, the Red Cross, the Gardai and Civil Defence. There are over 25 members on the committee, who help in organising different activities such as road traffic accident demonstrations, CPR Demos and fundraising days. In March they hosted their first annual fundraising table quiz, which was a great night and raised vital funds, enabling them to replace perishable items such as batteries and pads which are essential for keeping the defibrillators in use. Funds are also needed for training supplies such as pocket face masks, valves and cleaning wipes. Members of Clonmel Heartsaver recently donated their time to training staff in the Showgrounds.
Andrew Laste of Clonmel Heartsaver explains “Defibrillators combined with CPR can save lives, so we aim to have defibrillators available 4-5 minutes from people in need of them anywhere in the town. We were delighted when The Showgrounds approached us about fundraising for a defibrillator as it secures another vital defibrillator location for the town.”