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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Michael Kenwood

New Belfast public defibrillator sites named by council

Belfast is to get three sets of public access defibrillators at new locations in the south and southwest of the city.

Elected representatives at the full meeting of Belfast City Council earlier this month noted and approved an update on the current pilot programme for public defibrillators across the city.

New locations for the devices at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, Edenderry Village Playground and Hannahstown Village Playground were confirmed, while devices at Ulidia Playing Fields and Woodlands Playing Fields have been withdrawn.

Read more: Belfast Council to spend £72,000 on July Twelfth beacons this summer

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and is an essential part in trying to save the life of someone in cardiac arrest. The council pays £1,400 for each device.

Between 2016 and 2018 Belfast Council implemented the pilot programme through three phases which saw the installation of a total of 22 defibrillators at 14 council parks and playing field sites across the city.

In 2018 councillors agreed a further list of eight priority park/playing fields sites, as well as eight community centres to be the focus of any future provision as money became available.

A report from the council’s People and Communities Committee meeting from April states: “Two of the previously installed defibrillators i.e Ulidia Playing Fields and Woodlands Playing Fields, are no longer considered to be ‘publicly accessible’ given that site access is restricted to hours of bookings – and therefore we are now required to remove these sites from the council’s list of publicly accessible defibrillators.

“Members should note that this will not impact the availability of devices at these locations as the intention is to retain the Woodlands Playing Fields in situ under continued council management, and Rosario FC will continue to manage their own defibrillator onsite at Ulidia Playing Fields.

“The surplus Ulidia Playing Fields defibrillator has provided an opportunity for installation at a new location from our list of priority park and playing field sites. Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in south Belfast has been selected as this new location following requests from the community for a device to be placed there after a recent medical emergency within the park, as well as officer’s confirmation of a suitable location by the café at the Stables building.”

It adds: “Members are asked to agree to the inclusion of two further council sites on the list of priority council park/playing fields sites identified for future public access defibrillator provision, on availability of funding.

“(That is) Edenderry Village Playground and Hannahstown Playground and the widening out of the focus of the programme to date to include these two rural villages in reflection of unique peripheral locations within our council boundary.

“A proposal to include these sites follows a request for the installation of a defibrillator at Edenderry Village Playground, with the device itself to be made available from Edenderry Residents Association.

"As one of the city’s only two villages the rationale for a publicly accessible device is the location’s lack of proximity to other publicly accessible devices (closest device two miles away by car). In addition, high footfall on Lagan Valley Park walking trails in and around the village are demonstrated by adjacent Giants Ring historical monument and Minnowburn each welcoming over 190,000 visitors in 2021.”


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