Let’s reduce fatal cardiac arrests

April 04, 2018

Heathcote Ambulance Auxilary president Barbara Walker-Donnelly gifting the AED to Leading Senior Constable Karl Kerschbaumer.

HEATHCOTE Police received a shocking delivery last Thursday and it was all thanks to the Heathcote Ambulance Auxiliary.

A new Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) has been delivered to Heathcote police. It will be housed in the station and taken in the van while police are on patrol.

The machine gives police the ability to assist anyone who may go into cardiac arrest before an ambulance arrives.

“Police are often the first responders to things so it makes sense they have this on them in case they need to help someone,” Ambulance Auxiliary president Barbara Walker-Donnelly said.

“Ambulance Victoria wanted to have this out and about with officers to reduce the number of fatal cardiac arrests.”

Mrs Walker-Donnelly said AEDs were simple to operate and their ability to save lives made them invaluable.

“There are quite a few machines around Heathcote but not a lot of people know about them. I believe there are only three registered,” she said.

“But there are a lot more in the town – the golf club, bowls club and fire brigade also have them so it’s terrific to have them easily accessible.”

Currently the statistics for cardiac arrest cases are low, with only one in 10 people surviving; because of this Mrs Walker-Donnelly said timing was crucial.

“These are foolproof machines and they alter the survival rates drastically – they’re particularly valuable if the ambulance is out of town on a call,” she said.

Leading Senior Sergeant Karl Kerschbaumer said the machine would benefit the whole community.

“It’s terrific to have, we could be down the street and we’ll be able to help someone until an ambulance arrives,” he said.

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