Yarram and its surrounding remote communities will be better equipped in the event of a medical emergency, thanks to the rollout of four Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) which have been officially welcomed into the community.
The new devices were presented by Ambulance Victoria Chief Executive Officer Tony Walker at the Yarram Ambulance Branch on Thursday 13 October.
The AEDs are the result a local program which is a pilot program that aims to promote community health and resilience providing 24-hour access to defibrillators in local remote communities.
AEDs are portable devices designed to be used by untrained members of the public to provide a shock of electricity that can restart a heart in cardiac arrest.
Yarram Team Manager Angus Taylor said the AEDs were a testament to the community spirit of local residents after the Yarram Ambulance Auxiliary purchased the AEDs through about $10,000 from community donations.
‘The rollout of four new AEDs in the Yarram district is great news for the community and might prove to be a life-saving addition to the region,’ Mr Taylor said.
‘Yarram has a population of around 2500 people, but the surrounding district has around 6000 residents. In the event of a cardiac arrest, early CPR and defibrillation is critical so it’s vital that isolated parts of the community are equipped with AEDs.’
Mr Taylor said the AEDs would be strategically distributed around the Yarram community in strategic locations to ensure remote and isolated areas would be resourced in the event that someone went into cardiac arrest.
Local community groups which will be represented at the official rollout of the AEDs on Thursday and will receive an AED for their location include:
- The Tarra Valley Caravan Park – managed by Tarra Valley Caravan Park
- Stacey’s Bridge Hall – managed by Stacey’s Bridge Public Hall Reserve Committee of Management
- Binginwarri Hall – managed by Binginwarri Hall & Recreation Reserve
- and Carrajung Information shelter – managed by Carrajung Community Committee
Yarram Ambulance Auxiliary secretary treasurer Wilma Price said over the past few years volunteers raised about $10,000 to purchase the four AEDs through sausage sizzles, raffles, donation envelopes and donation tins in a local store.
‘The town is really quite generous and we want to put the donations back into the town,’ she said.
‘We usually use the donations to buy equipment or upgrade the ambulance station, but these AEDs will be vital in an emergency, being such a rural community.’
Mr Taylor said that every minute that CPR or defibrillation was delayed, a person’s chances of survival decreased by 10 per cent.
‘The six steps in the ‘chain of survival’ are early recognition of cardiac arrest, early access to emergency care (calling Triple Zero), early CPR, early defibrillation, early advanced care (paramedics) and definitive care (hospital),’ Mr Taylor said.