By Trevor Quinn
An innovative south Mayo man has designed a new eco-powered cabinet that can safely store a defibrillator anywhere, along with life-saving medicines like adrenaline pens and aspirin.
Darren Forde, from Hollymount, was enjoying a short break with his family in Westport last May when he learned there were no defibrillators on Croagh Patrick. He quickly embarked on a fundraising venture and made contact with the emergency services to discuss how the life-saving devices could be installed.
Darren played a key role in ensuring that two solar-powered machines were secured in June and they are now available for climbers along the route.
However, there is no electrical power supply on the Reek and the designer was aware that more than solar power is needed to power the defibrillators during the winter period.
Darren subsequently created a prototype and he displayed the outdoor temperature-controlled cabinet in Castlebar last Saturday to mark National Services Day. He said he is determined to invent a device that has the potential to save lives.
“When climbing Croagh Patrick recently with my family, I noticed that there were no cabinets or defibrillators on the mountain.
“There is no electric power on the mountain, nor is there any power on greenways, mountains, hills black ski-runs, beaches, [or the] Spire in Dublin.
“If a person has cardiac chest pain or an allergic reaction, they only have minutes to take this life-saving medicine.
“It could take hours to receive the life-saving medication in a remote location. With my invention, this medication could be administered in minutes.”
The secure cabinet can be used to store defibrillators, medication, and bandages and it includes eighteen unique features.
Darren, a community first responder and a roads engineer with Mayo County Council, met the HSE and the emergency services last Wednesday to discuss the prototype’s potential.