In the decade since defibrillation was introduced at Dublin Airport, the Dublin Airport Police and Fire Service have saved the lives of 19 people who were suffering cardiac arrest at the airport.
One such grateful person, 85-year-old Jack Healy, was only too happy to return to the airport to say thank you to the crew involved in his incident. Jack, from Greystones, Co Wicklow, suffered a severe cardiac arrest on 2nd September 2012 outside Terminal 2. Within two minutes members of the Airport Police / Fire Service were on the scene to attend to him. As with all suspected cardiac arrest incidents, the team quickly enacted their protocol to examine the person and initiate CPR. The team quickly assessed that Jack had no pulse and administered the AED (automatic external defibrillation) resuscitating him. The Airport Fire Service ambulance then transported him to Beaumont Hospital where he spent six weeks recovering from the event.
Jack, who is now thankfully back to full health, was accompanied by his family to the Airport Fire Station to make a presentation to the crew who were involved in his rescue. The family expressed their gratitude to the crew for saving their father’s life. The crew comprised Dave Renehan, Tony Shannon, Keith Pedreschi, Ciaran Curran and Bart Cunningham.
In 2012 three lives were saved through the use of defibrillation at Dublin Airport. Brendan Lavin, Airport Police Fire Officer, explained one such incident that he attended: “My colleague, Ken Brown, and I received a call that a passenger, a German national travelling with his wife, had collapsed in Terminal 2. We attend every incident of a reported collapse as a potential cardiac arrest. Thankfully, 80% of these calls are no more than a fainting incident. When we arrived two retired doctors were in attendance and could detect no pulse on the gentleman. We immediately examined the man, administered CPR and ultimately used AED, which succeeded in getting a pulse. The Airport Fire Service ambulance then transported the man to Beaumont Hospital.”
Just one week later an Irish woman collapsed in the baggage hall of Terminal 2. Airport Police Officer Trevor Giltrap and Duty Sergeant Stephen Morris attended to the lady, who also required defibrillation before being transported to hospital.
Dublin Airport has been designated a Heartsafe Airport by the Irish Heart Foundation. This accolade was conferred to members of the Dublin Airport Police & Fire service (APFS) some years back in recognition of their success rate in saving victims of cardiac arrest at the airport with the use of Public Access Defibrillation.
Defibrillators are located at all main public access areas at Dublin Airport.