• Morgan Fagg

A Surprising Lifesaving Role (Vol 2)

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

I awoke one cold morning to drive a friend to work, stopping at her house, a crowd had gathered around a young woman. “She´s not breathing”, they seemed to say, in unison.

I quickly got down on the cold street and checked for signs of life. She was cold to the touch as the crowd looked on helplessly. My friend came out of her house and I calmly apologised, that she was going to be late as I couldn’t drive her to work.

I leaned in over the young woman who I recognised as a patron of the old Urban District Council´s swimming pool in Retreat, my ear over the woman’s mouth to listen for breathing, my eyes looking to her chest to see if her diaphragm was rising and falling as air was inhaled and exhaled, all the time my ear was close to her mouth, hoping to feel her breath if she was actually breathing.

It is taught to children as LOOK, LISTEN and FEEL but as I looked on, I couldn’t see her chest rise or fall nor hear nor feel breath coming from her mouth, when all of a sudden, I both smelled alcohol and heard a deep intoxicated snore coming from the young woman on that cold Athlone street.

Unlike, the attentive crowd looking down on the 20 something-year-old girl, I was at the cold face OF IT, so to speak and my calmness was in part only due to a very effective refresher course I had recently attended in Athlone Regional Sports Centre by Sean O Keeffe from Cork.

Each year Water Safety courses are held in Athlone and Mullingar with other useful lifesaving courses being offered in the community in First Aid and CPR.

On a cold morning in Athlone, a young woman was met by a concerned group who called 999. Both Gardai and an ambulance arrived to help her, each ready to help to try and save a life.

We each have a part to play within our community and I was delighted to congratulate the former editor of the Athlone Topic, Seán Ó Dómhnail who received a National Award from Irish Water Safety for his part in highlighting water safety at a local level.

The Community and Social Responsibility Award WAS presented at the IWS Awards ceremony in Dublin Castle on November 29th with recipients receiving their awards from Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural & Community Development

After several years of writing bylines and meeting deadlines, it is great to see Seán Ó Dómhnail honoured with an award for offering Irish Water Safety, a lifeline.

Learn to swim, take a First Aid course, give blood or a throw a quid into the RNLI box in Sean´s Bar, someday, someone might just need your help.

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