Galway Rural Development Promote Message in a Bottle Scheme in Connemara

Anne Cassidy, Rural Resource Officer GRD, PJ Leavy Maam Community First Responders, Mark Callanan, Community Engagement Officer National Ambulance Service, Bernie Kelly Head of Galway Library Service, Sean Mannion Galway Lions Club, Garda Sergeant Linda Woodman Clifden, Gearóid O’Fátharta Manager Comharcumainn Dhúiche Sheoigeach Teo.

The Message in a Bottle scheme in Connemara is being promoted by Galway Rural Development in collaboration with the Galway Lions Club who sponsor the scheme. This is a free service that could help to save lives. The bottle contains a medical alert form with all the information that emergency services would need to be able to help someone when they respond to a call. It contains important information such as a person’s medical conditions, medication details, any allergies they might have, who their next of kin is, if a person is a carer or even if someone has a pet. The Bottle could make a vital difference as noted by Mark Callanan, the Community Engagement Officer with the National Ambulance Service West:
“A patient’s medical information can very easily be forgotten in the midst of injury or illness. This missing information can prove very useful in the patient’s treatment such as current conditions the patient suffers from or medications the patient is currently on. The ‘Message in a Bottle’ can alleviate the risk of forgetting vital information and aid the National Ambulance Service in patient treatment”.
The bottle is always kept in the fridge and responders know to look for it by the green stickers that are put on the inside of the front door, back door and the fridge door. Having access to this Bottle is very important in situations where someone lives alone, and might also have communication difficulties or memory issues.
In Connemara this is being rolled out with the generous support of the Galway branch of the Lions Club who have donated almost 1,000 bottles to date for distribution in the community. The campaign is a collaborative effort with support from the National Ambulance Service West, the Maam Community First Responders who plan to distribute them to every household in the Maam Valley as well as Comharchumann Dhúiche Sheoigeach Teo, whose manager Gearóid Ó Fátharta will support their distribution throughout the wider Joyce Country area. It is also being supported by the Galway Library Service who are distributing them through their libraries in Connemara. Clifden Garda Station will give them out and will also have some available for collection at the station itself. If you or someone you know would like a bottle please contact Anne Cassidy, Rural Resource Officer with Galway Rural Development on 087 7685711 or