Lifesaving Defibrillator installed at Omagh store

After three months of fundraising with the local community, McBrides SPAR has installed a new, public-access lifesaving defibrillator outside their store on Gortin Road in Omagh.

The store raised £1,500 with the help of the community as part of the Henderson Group’s Heart of our Community campaign, which aimed to educate the public on the importance of CPR and early defibrillation and install over 300 defibrillators across towns in Northern Ireland.

The defibrillator is situated on the outside of the store and is therefore accessible 24/7 for members of the public to use, should the need arise.

Store Owner Peter McBride and staff raised money for their device by holding a table quiz, selling customer quiz sheets, holding a turbo training day and a fancy dress day at Halloween.

Peter McBride said; “We are delighted to be amongst the first to have a defibrillator installed as part of Henderson Group’s Heart of the Community campaign. I am incredibly grateful to our staff for their fundraising efforts and to our loyal customers who have been so generous in their support. This is an invaluable piece of life saving equipment available 24/7 for our community. Thanks also to our local businesses, Strathroy dairies and the Silver Birch Hotel for their support.

If a member of the public witness somebody who takes a cardiac arrest, which means that their heart has stopped beating and they are not breathing, it is essential that they phone 999 immediately and begin CPR compressions, while calling for a member of the public to fetch a defibrillator if one is in the area.

The defibrillator that has been installed at SPAR, Gortin Road is automatic, so no training is required for use. As soon as it is activated, the user will be talked through the process by the machine and the Ambulance Service operator on the phone.

The campaign was launched in October 2015, with the full backing of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and Dr Michael McBride, Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer, who commended the initiative which complements the Community Resuscitation Strategy the department launched in 2014, with the aim of improving the survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests by promoting lifesaving skills to the public.

Henderson Group also developed a dedicated website,, which houses information about the campaign, life-saving information, and lists the stores taking part in the initiative.

Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at the Henderson Group said; “We are delighted to see the installation of these devices outside stores across Northern Ireland. Each store, their staff and communities have fundraised tirelessly for their defibrillator, so it is great to see the installation process begin. We are working with Mark Bailie, a State Registered Paramedic and the UK & Ireland agent for one of the most prestigious AED manufacturers in the world, Physio-Control. With Mark’s experience and our extensive product research, we believe this product is the best for our communities.”