In rural areas, first aid is of the utmost importance as it may take overlong for emergency services to reach people.
If someone collapses and is unresponsive (possibly unconscious) we ring 000 then perform CPR (cardiovascular pulmonary resuscitation) which in laypersons’ terms is: the 30 chest pumps and two puffs of breath (for an adult) continued until natural breathing rhythms return.
However, if natural breathing rhythms do not return, the heart may need the application of an electric current to start it up and get it beating naturally.
To apply this electric current, we use a defibrillator (referred to as an AED – Automated External Defibrillator).
After collecting the defibrillator and bringing it to the person, it is very easy to use. You just listen to the audio directions given by the defibrillator unit and use it as directed. My interest in AED locations, was piqued by my attendance at a First Aid course run by the Bass Coast Landcare last week.
As a resident halfway between Bena and Kongwak, I did not know where my nearest defibrillator was until I made enquiries and found they are located outside both Bena & Kongwak Halls. Do you know where your nearest defibrillator is located?
Ambulance Victoria encourages all AEDs to be registered with them at https://registermyaed.ambulance.vic.gov.au/
This means triple zero operators can direct bystanders to a nearby AED.
Also, the GoodSam App (available at https://www.ambulance.vic.gov.au/goodSAM/) shows the location of registered AEDs.
The GoodSam App allows off-duty paramedics (and others with first aid qualifications) to respond to a cardiac arrest near their location.
One of our local residents whose son is a paramedic checked and neither the Bena nor the Kongwak AEDs had been registered.
Importantly, if a registered AED is used, then Ambulance Victoria will pay for any replacement equipment as needed which is an advantage for community groups.
Hoping this article meets the eye of interested parties locally and that all will take advantage of the registration process.
Libby Lambert, Bena.