Heart safety drive beating on but more support still needed

SAFE: Australian Red Cross first aid trainer George Chapman installing the machine with Lois Hands and Ian Shepherdson. Photo: BELIDNA SOOLE
SAFE: Australian Red Cross first aid trainer George Chapman installing the machine with Lois Hands and Ian Shepherdson. Photo: BELIDNA SOOLE

The community has jumped behind the campaign to make Dubbo a heart safe city.

This week another Automated External Defibrillator unit was installed at Terry White Chemist at Delroy Park shopping centre. Australian Red Cross first aid trainer George Chapman said he had been promised the $3300 for a seventh machine and was just $220 from the eighth.

Mr Chapman has been pushing for donations to have 20 AED units installed throughout the city, to be used when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

He said the machines would save up to two lives per week. However, to help people who have cardiac arrests, Mr Chapman said the machines need to be no more than two minutes apart.

While he’s close to his eighth machine, the first aid trainer wants to see 20 installed in Dubbo’s high-traffic areas.

“I’ve personally been approaching a number of larger businesses in Dubbo asking if they would consider installing their own AED. If they accept the invitation this will enhance the public roll out and help make Dubbo a ‘heart safe city’,” Mr Chapman said.

Interest in making donations for more AEDs was starting to slow, Mr Chapman said.

“The community is right behind the campaign, but I’m hoping more businesses will step up. We need more AEDs installed to reach the goal, with at least another five units to cover Talbragar Street alone,” he said.

Mr Chapman is also trying to organise free public training on the use of a defibrillator. The lessons will take about 15 minutes.

Dates and locations for the defibrillator training will be announced in the coming weeks.

Thankfully, Mr Chapman said he had yet to hear about any of the units being needed to help someone during a cardiac arrest.

The Rotary Club of Dubbo Macquarie has launched an appeal to help fund more AED units.

Donations can be made in person at the Regional Australia Bank or through direct deposit to BSB number 932000 and account number 100380939.