HELPING TO SAVE LIVES: Entrepreneur Darren Forde holding a defibrillator which is stored in the secure eco-unit. He is pictured at the base of Knockma with Eugene Finnerty, National Parks and Wildlife service, and Galway East TD Sean Canney. Photo: Ray Ryan


Life-saving eco-units — a first for Knockma and Co Galway

KNOCKMA on the outskirts of Belclare has become the first location in the county to have new eco units that aim to help save a life should any of the many thousands who walk the popular route have a cardiac arrest.

Two eco powered cabinets that run on solar panels and contain easy-to-use defibrillators have been installed at the foot and the top of the well-known hill, which is used by more than 70,000 people every year.

The units have been sourced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, which is also installing one at the Diamond Hill walk in Connemara.

A unique design allows the defibrillator to be operational, even in subzero temperatures, as the unit is kept frost free thanks to a battery powered by solar. The eco cabinets are the brainchild of a Mayo man who installed his first designs on Croagh Patrick and last week he oversaw the shipment of a unit to Perth, Australia, where it’s destined for a location in the outback.

Keeping defibrillators operational in cold temperatures has proved problematic in locations where there isn’t any power. It’s no surprise that entrepreneur Darren Forde came up with the idea for the cabinet while climbing Croagh Patrick.

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