Villages dig deep to raise funds towards local AEDS

Photo: MArk Rayner
Photo: MArk Rayner

Last month I wrote about the efforts of Red Cross first aid trainer George Chapman to make Wellington a heart safe town by having Automated External Defibrillators installed at a number of locations.

George has been working away and a number of the life-saving devices have been installed around town, already making Wellington safer. However George has also been working across the villages in the Dubbo region to try and assist them.

Last month when I was speaking to him, George told me about his concerns the villages would miss out, and the difficulty small communities would have in fundraising to purchase one.

Like George, I'm a big supporter of our villages and I certainly don't want to see them left behind. I told him I would see what I could do.

At the June Ordinary Council Meeting, I put up a Mayoral Minute proposing to fund the majority of the purchase of AEDS to be installed at the local hotel at six villages if the community also contributed $500. The villages include Stuart Town, Mumbil, Geurie, Eumungerie, Wongarbon and Ballimore.

I am delighted that through George, they all took on the challenge and successfully raised the money. I am also very pleased that Councillors agreed with my proposal and the Mayoral Minute was passed.

George has told me that in Mumbil, the money was raised in just one weekend thanks to some generous contributions, while in Stuart Town, the publican didn't hesitate and handed over their contribution himself, as soon as he heard about it.

Rotary also made an extremely generous donation towards a number of the AED units. These are fantastic stories and show one of the great aspects of our villages, that strong community spirit. I can't wait until they are installed and the residents of these villages can know they are available.

As I have previously said, my theory behind the hotels being the best locations are based on the fact they are open more often and for longer hours than most other businesses. Residents can know that is where they need to go or who they need to contact if they find themselves requiring an AED.

Minutes matter when it comes to the provision of assistance so having quick access to a device can literally be the difference between life and death.

That's why it is so great that George has taken on the task of assisting everyone in the region. I know there are already AEDS being installed in Wellington and plans for more.

Just to show what difference they can make, one of those installed in Dubbo has already been used.

In February there was a medical emergency at the Nita McGrath Netball Courts and the AED installed there was used. The AED was used and the person was able to be taken to hospital and were ok. It's a great outcome and I am sure more lives will be saved by these AEDs in the future.