THE people of Athlone will be given the chance to learn how to do CPR and take part in a 24-hour CPR Relay Challenge this weekend.
The Keep it Beating 24 hour CPR Relay challenge will take place on Saturday and Sunday.
It will run from 9am to 6pm on Saturday in Golden Island Shopping Centre and from 6pm on Saturday until 9am on Sunday in the Prince of Wales Hotel.
It's in aid of the Irish Community Rapid Response Unit (ICRR).
The ICRR is a charity delivering professional pre-hospital A & E care directly to the site of emergencies throughout the country.
Everyone who takes part in the relay is required to do CPR for 10 minutes, while there is also an opportunity to learn how to do CPR on both days.
One of the organisers, Séamus Ó Fátharta, urged those interested in taking part to register online in advance, through the Facebook page, Keep It Beating.
“The aim is to keep a mannequin going for 24 hours, broken into 10 minute slots. Anyone who registers for the event and doesn't know how to do CPR can come in beforehand and learn CPR. Even if you are not registered people can drop in on the day,” he said.
He added that this is a unique initiative and CPR is vital.
“If someone gets a cardiac arrest the initial period doing CPR is vital. It's a simple skill but a lifesaving skill and we are trying to get it into every single house,” he said.
He stressed the importance of registering in advance on the Facebook page. It costs €5 to register in advance and each participant gets a sponsorship card.
The Keep it Beating committee was delighted with the huge turnout for their launch of the 24-hour CRP Relay last month.
Guest speakers included Gerry Glynn, Advanced paramedic with NAS and Councillor John Dolan, who himself suffered a heart attack last year and was saved by his son preforming CPR while awaiting assistance from the ambulance service.
John spoke about his own personal experience and the importance of quick action when there is an emergency.
The Keep it Beating committee is thrilled to have Councillor John Dolan as an ambassador for this event.
Advanced Paramedic Gerry Glynn spoke about the vital role of citizen CPR and how it saves lives. He praised the initiative and the aspiration to have another over 250 civilians trained in Athlone in one day.
He stressed the importance of the “Golden Hour” which refers to the time period lasting up to one hour, following a medical emergency, during which there is the highest rate of survival if the patient receives care with in this timeframe.
The group held a mini CPR relay the previous week in conjunction with three local secondary schools – Marist College, Our Lady’s Bower and Cholaiste Chiarain.
One of the students Ava Sweeney from Our Lady’s Bower managed to complete 2 hours and 45 minutes of CPR without stopping.
Over 150 students were citizen trained on the day.
This event is being held in aid of The Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR), the ICRR was formed in 2006 and are a voluntary organisation comprised of doctors, advanced paramedics and medical professionals. Their aim is deliver critical A&E intervention with in the “Golden Hour”.
Organisers are asking members of the public to register a place on the day and contribute a minimum of €5 towards the Irish Community Rapid Response.
After taking part, participants should be fully confident to perform CPR if ever needed.
Those participating can select any ten-minute slot they like for training within the 24 hours.
CPR is a simple skill, but a lifesaving skill. Approximately 13 people die every day as a result of cardiac arrest, having this skill can saves lives.
Let’s make Athlone CPR ready. To register for the event please log on to
https://keepitbeating.clr.events/event/127019:keep-it-beating-24hrs-cpr-challenge and sign up. 10 minutes of your time could help save a life.