Life Saving Equipment Bill Needs to be Passed into Law

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Ciara Dowling
Ciara Dowling signed this petition

Please support us in asking for Cross Party Support of Strict Penalties for those who steal or damage Defibrillators.

This weekend alone Public Access Defibrillators (PAD) in Louth and Wicklow were stolen from their heated cases. Other incidents have been reported from around the country in recent months and years.  Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are sometimes also referred to as a Public Access Defibrillatos (PADs) are a device which can be used by a lay person with little or no training to successfully restart the heart of a patient in cardiac arrest. These devices are often charitably funded and need to be kept in heated cabinets in cold weather. The typical cost of an AED and cabinet is well over €1,500.

Dr David Menzies, Medical Director of CFR Ireland said:  “Damage to, or theft of a defibrillator installed for public use could be a death sentence for a patient if it were not available for a patient in cardiac arrest as a result. It is that serious. Locking up AEDs isn’t the ideal solution – you wouldn’t lock up a fire extinguisher.”

The Life Saving Equipment Bill was initiated in 2017 by Senator Keith Swanick. It proposes penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment and €50,000 fine for those convicted of theft or, or damage to, a defibrillator or life buoy. CFR Ireland was glad to support this bill when it was proposed. It is now stalled in the houses of the Oireachtas.

We can wait no longer.  This bill needs to be passed as a matter of urgency.