Shelmalier Clubs attain 1st Ever HeartSafe G.A.A Club Award

Congratulations to the Shelmalier Ladies Fooball club, St. Ibars Shelmalier camogie club, Shelmalier G.A.A Club on being awarded the first HeartSafe Club in Ireland.  Heartsafe

This award will be presented to the Clubs by Mr. Michael O’Shea CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation at a special function in the New Complex in Hollymount on Wednesday 14th November. Proceedings will get underway at 7.30 pm.

There is an open invitation to everybody in the local and surrounding communities, Sport Clubs, Schools and the general public to attend this launch.

We look forward to seeing you all on this historic occasion.

How did this come about?

I think we are all very aware through recent media stories and through the highlighted awareness of the amount of young people particularly young males who have died as a result of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome SADS.  This unfortunately is a silent killer of the young – there may be no symptoms and the actual cause of death may never be determined. Cormac Mc Anallen’s untimely death raised the profile of this condition and unfortunately many more young people have come to the same fate.   

Noel Quill We don’t have to look very far as one young man Noel Quill a member if this club passed away in 2004 at 22 years of age.  We will never know if Noels death could have been prevented however what we can do is equip our playing fields with the latest medical devices that have the capacity to save a life.

This device is the Automated External Defibulator  AED. At the Shelmalier Ladies Football club agm Liz Quill raised the issue of having a Defibulator located in Hollymount she encouraged the three other clubs to get involved in acquiring this life saving device.  Joe Fox took the initiative to begin the process of attaining an AED for use in Hollymount.

This device is actually stored in Hollymount grounds readily available for use should the need arise. The Actually AED that was chosen uses the same leads that are used in the Ambulances, this means that once the ambulance arrives to the site they can unplug the AED and connect the person directly to the Ambulances resuscitation equipment.

Defrib Training 1

We then needed to look at training people up to use the AED. Liz Quill got in touch with the Irish Heart Foundation  and began organising training for members on the Device. At this point we need to pay particular thanks to Fran Fitzhenry and Bridget Sinnott for their commitment, encouragement and support in helping to make this happen and for also making the training sessions so much fun and enjoyable.

The Men’s Club, Coiste na N'Og, Camogie Club, Local Schools and Soccer Clubs were contacted in relation to sending representatives to receive this training.  

To date 15 members have been trained in the use of the  AED and CPR and a further
12 in CPR.

The clubs aim is to have a trained person present at all training sessions and matches and hope that more volunteers come forward for this important training and function.

Defrib Training 3  The AED Committee was born with representatives from the interested bodies. Liz Quill was elected chairperson and in conjunction with the Irish heart foundation the committee began looking at the steps to becoming a heartsafe Club.

What does this all really mean?

The Heartsafe Community Programme is an Irish Heart Foundation initiative which aims to encourage all communities to strengthen every link in the ‘Chain of Survival’ in their community. The ‘Chain of Survival’ concept comprises four vital links that can save a life:
                            •    Early Access,
                            •    Early Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation,
                            •    Early Defibrillation
                            •    Early Advanced Care.

Defrib Training 2 The Irish Heart Foundation awards 'Heartbeats' in recognition of each step a community takes to strengthen their Chain of Survival. Heartbeats can be earned for such things as CPR training, having an AED Programme or written plans for CPR/AED/Emergencies in your community.

The number of Heartbeats required to become a Heartsafe GAA club depends on the type of club applying to the programme. The programme recognises different types of communities and each has different heartbeat criteria and requisites to become Heartsafe.

The Heartsafe GAA club Award is valid for two years. GAA clubs which are awarded the Heartsafe award will be expected to be involved in ongoing ‘Heartsafe’ activities to maintain the Heartsafe Award. The Heartsafe Community Programme will be invaluable in maintaining the momentum and enthusiasm needed for this.
Where to now?

It doesn’t just stop now as stated above the award is valid for two years we now need to maintain the status. We need to continue the training of users on the AED and CPR. The training is quite easy to do and the use of the AED is literally fool proof.

We would encourage more people to come forward. Anyone wishing to be trained should contact  Liz Quill, Chairperson of the AED Group to arrange training.

After all what greater gift could you give someone other than the ability to save a life should the need arise – hopefully the AED will never have to come out of its case.

So come on in the words of the four clubs motto: Follow me who dares !