'Unique' community project could help save lives
SUFFERING a heart attack in Gayndah is less likely to be fatal thanks to a groundbreaking initiative to "blanket” the town and surrounds with defibrillators.
The Gayndah Lions Club and Freemasons have purchased 15 defibrillators to distribute throughout the Gayndah community and surrounds, thanks to a grant from the Community Gambling Benefit Fund.
They will be located at the Anglican Church, Men's Shed, Binjour Apostolic Church of Queensland, Mingo Crossing Caravan Park, Wesleyan Methodist Church, Guardian Pharmacy, Presbyterian Church, Golf Club, Town Hall, St Joseph's Catholic Parish, RSL Hall, Riverland Church, Binjour Bowls Club, Gunther Village, and the QCWA Hall.
Freemason Bill Turner, who took the lead on the project, said the idea was driven by 2016 Census data which showed 34 per cent of Gayndah's population was over the age of 50.
"The venues approached were halls around the town and surrounds where the over 50s age group frequented,” Mr Turner said.
"Participation by the venue was based on the members of that venue being willing to participate in training, having a safe place to house the defibrillator and having people to volunteer to post their name and phone number in case the defibrillator was required out of hours.
"Also, they agreed to maintain the defibrillator, which requires a monthly check that the defibrillator is working, and replacing the battery and pads every five years at a cost of $232.”
By "blanketing” Gayndah and surrounds with defibrillators, it lessens the chance of someone being missed in a crisis and raises community understanding.
However, Mr Turner emphasised that calling 000 should always be the first response in a crisis, followed by resuscitation, then using a defibrillator.
"It is important for this information to get around the community, because now that the defibrillators are a reality, people may be afraid to use them,” Mr Turner said.
"I'm going to co-ordinate and spread the word when training is happening and where.”
Mr Turner said he has been told by Red Cross Australia the project was "unique”.
For more information, phone Bill on 0407 714 247.