IN 2019, the Rotary Club of Bellingen identified a need for access to defibrillators in the local community.
More than 30,000 Australians suffer from sudden cardiac arrest every year, of which only five per cent survive. Immediate access to a defibrillator can lead to a 70 per cent survival rate if applied within four minutes.
Within 12 months, the Rotary Club of Bellingen raised a total of $10,018.50 through a combination of local club fundraising activities, a Rotary Foundation Grant and a $1000 contribution from Essential Energy through their community support program.
Last month, four life saving defibrillator devices were purchased from local Coffs Coast supplier, TachMed Australia, and presented to the host businesses and sporting groups for use by the general public.
The devices are located at:
Bellingen Fitness Gym, Raleigh
Urunga Pharmacy, Urunga
Bellingen Pharmacy, Bellingen
Connell Park, Bellingen.
Cardiac arrests are not just restricted to the elderly or high risk groups. A cardiac arrest can occur in children due to drowning or choking, receiving an electric shock, respiratory related medical conditions such as asthma and anaphylaxis, trauma, poison or congenital abnormalities.
Using a defibrillator within four minutes on a person suffering a cardiac arrest can be the difference between the victim living or dying.
While the Rotary Club of Bellingen hopes the defibrillators will not need to be used, the devices are now strategically placed throughout the shire, providing the real potential to save lives in years to come.