Heart-safe city campaign reaches final defibrillator goal

POST OFFICE MILESTONE: Lee-ann Hartley, George Chapman, Virginia Brown, Louise Taylor and Nancy Pascoe with the latest defibrillator to be installed in the city. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

POST OFFICE MILESTONE: Lee-ann Hartley, George Chapman, Virginia Brown, Louise Taylor and Nancy Pascoe with the latest defibrillator to be installed in the city. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Six weeks and two days after pushing to make Dubbo a heart-safe city, George Chapman has reached his goal.

Thirty-three automated external defibrillators have been pledged for Dubbo. When the last six defibrillators are installed, there will be a unit no more than two minutes apart in the city’s high traffic areas.

Red Cross Dubbo first aid trainer George Chapman said he was “tickled pink” about the latest donations.

“We will save someone’s life,” he said.

Every minute someone having a cardiac arrest doesn’t receive treatment their chance of survival drops by seven per cent. The hospital treated 322 people annually with heart conditions, Mr Chapman said.

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Each defibrillator costs about $3300, which means almost $109,000 has been donated to the cause in the six months.

Mr Chapman said now the majority of the AEDs had been installed throughout the CBD, it was now one of the safest places in the city to have a heart attack.

We will save someone’s life.

George Chapman

The latest defibrillator to join the heart-safe city was at the Dubbo Post Office in Talbragar Street.

The AED is also another milestone for the campaign.

“As far as we’re aware this is the first Australia Post in Australia to have an AED,” Mr Chapman said.

Dubbo Post Office manager Virginia Brown said she had encouraged the company to join the campaign when she first saw it in the media.

Ms Brown said she thought the Post Office was a perfect place for one of the defibrillators because most of Dubbo knew where it was. It was also a place that was open almost 24 hours a day, she said.

Every one in the business from the postal workers to the office staff had been trained on how to use it, Ms Brown said.

The manager said she was hoping Australia Post would continue to support the heart-safe push.

Businesses which contain the AEDs purchased through the heart-safe city campaign will have a sticker on the window indicating its location in case it is required.

It is believed there are about 100 defibrillators throughout Dubbo. As well as the 33 installed through Mr Chapman’s campaign there have also been more than 30 purchased by Dubbo Regional Council for areas such as sporting fields and tourist attractions.

In addition, Mr Chapman believes there would be another 50 that have been purchased by businesses or individuals for their own use.

The final six defibrillators that have been pledged in the campaign will be installed in the coming weeks.