Launch: Newstalk

A teenager in Killarney who’s life was saved through the use of a defibrillator opened the country’s first defibrillator telephone box this week.

Tom Geaney owes his life to the quick reaction of club officials and the nearby access to a defibrillator and the new Heart of Killarney project aims to increase the public awareness around the location of the public access AEDs in Killarney.

Killarney aims to be the most heart-safe town in Ireland, with community first responders, public access AEDs and public training initiatives.

“The Heart of Killarney complements the existing services in the overall goal of reducing the lives lost to sudden cardiac arrests each year,” said Damien Baker and Leo O’Connor, the project leads for the Heart of Killarney project.

“Historically the phone box played a huge part of Ireland’s communities; it was the lifeline that kept families together,” said Damien Baker.

“Now they can do that again by housing these life-saving devices and help the public recognise and remember the locations of the AEDs.”

There are currently Killarney has 13 public access AEDs in Killarney. These devices 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.

Anne Tobin, the HPRA’s Medical Devices Vigilance Manager said: “We are urgently calling on all device owners to check if they have one of the affected AEDs and, where necessary, to contact their manufacturer or supplier immediately to ensure the correction required is carried out without further delay.”

This article by Fionnuala Jones first appeared on

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