19 February 2022
By Mary Bermingham
Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, together with Cork County Council is delivering life-saving defibrillators to the local community in Carrigtwohill and Glounthaune, Co Cork. The newly opened section of the cycleway, which was constructed with the support of Stryker, provides the ideal location for defibrillators. The several-kilometre stretch of cycleway which is already being utilised, will see numbers accessing the amenity increase as the cyclelink expands across Cork County over the coming months. With the support of Cork County Council, Stryker will initially install three defibrillators with more to be installed as the cycleway expands.
AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) dramatically increase the chance of a person surviving in the event of suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest by delivering a shock to the heart which can help it to resume its normal rhythm. Stryker-designed and manufactured AEDs have been delivered to other communities across the country as part of the company’s community outreach to make this life-saving equipment more accessible.
Stryker, who specialises in the development and manufacture of life-saving technology, will be delivering this specialised equipment and housing them in vintage phone boxes along the cycleway. The phone boxes have been designed for this purpose by Tommy Hassett from Limerick. The phone box provides an ideal housing for the AEDs, protecting them from the elements, but has the added benefit of being a highly visible landmark in the event of an emergency. The vintage phone box pays homage to an important piece of Irish culture and a long-standing feature of town and village communities across the country. The provision of the AEDs, phone boxes, installation and maintenance, amounts to a significant investment by Stryker to the local community. In addition to the investment of over €70,000, community training will also be provided for the safe use of AEDs.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan welcomed the delivery of the AEDs,
“I am immensely proud to see how collaboration between Cork County Council and Stryker led to a new section of cycleway in Carrigtwohill last year. This collaboration is now set to bring further positive benefits with the addition of defibrillators which will be complemented with local training. This initiative shows the importance of public and private cooperation in identifying valuable community developments and, in this case, could literally be a life saver.”
Speaking on behalf of Stryker, at the official unveiling of the AEDs, Mag O’Keeffe, Vice President of Operations, said:
“Working with Cork County Council made it possible for us to deliver our vision of providing lifesaving technology to our local community. This vision was driven by the teams here at Stryker who are very much part of the local community, and who care deeply about giving back. Our commitment to delivering innovative healthcare is broader than our business approach; this outreach shows that it is at the core of how we work, and how we live. We are proud of what has been achieved today, and look forward to continuing to deliver on our mission and drive to make healthcare better.”
One of the newly installed AEDs is located close to the entrance to Harper’s Island Wetlands which is owned and maintained by Cork County Council, with its partners BirdWatch Ireland and the Glounthaune Community Association. Harper’s Island Wetlands is an important refuge for high numbers of a large variety of waterbird species that visit Cork Harbour in the winter time. There are two bird hides on the island which provide stunning views over the wetlands and a new looped nature trail. The wetlands form part of the Cork Harbour Special Protection Area as well as part of the Great Island Channel Special Area of Conservation.