Derry City Council has agreed to install defibrillator machines in all of its sporting facilities.
The decision was taken at the monthly meeting of Derry City Council held in the Guildhall on Tuesday following a motion tabled by Sinn Féin councillor, Colly Kelly.
Proposing the motion, which called on Council to ensure that the life-saving machines are installed in its sporting facilities and that staff are trained in their use, Colr. Kelly said: “There have been a number of well publicised cases highlighting the benefits of having defibrillators on location at places of sporting activity and human costs of this equipment not being available.
“Derry City Council is embarking on a major investment in leisure provision with £8 million already in our hands.
“A tiny proportion of this already available resource would meet the costs of installing defibrillators.”
The Sinn Féin colr. appealed to other parties to support the motion. “It would be highly illogical not to equip all council buildings which provide recreation and leisure activities and to ensure all staff receive the requisite training,” he said.
SDLP colr. Martin Reilly supported the motion and said he hoped the move would save lives. “There have been a number of incidents in this Council district where the benefits of defibrillators was demonstrated. These machines save lives and I am happy to support this motion,” he said.
DUP alderman Drew Thompson also gave his support to the motion and called for more information to be brought to councillors on how much it would cost to install the machines in all council properties.
“This is a timely motion and follows on from a number of discussions about the use of defibrillators throughout the Derry City Council area.
“I think that it is important that we don’t just look at sporting facilities. We should be looking at other facilities too. That would mean looking at cost because these machines are not cheap. Training of people in relation to their use would also cost money.
“I have no difficulty supporting this motion but we would also need to find out about costings, particularly when it comes to installing these machines in other Council buildings. I would like more information to be brought back to councillors on this but I have no problem supporting this motion and think that it is a good idea,” he said.
Oonagh McGillian of the Council’s development department said that quotations were being sought and that all training would be carried out on an in-house basis.