Lifesaving aid ready for action

Geraldine's latest community initiative could be a lifesaver.

Nine automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been distributed throughout the wider Geraldine area in recent weeks and are now operational.

Those locations include Geraldine's Westpac Bank, fire station, primary school hall, high school administration block and McKenzie Healthcare. There is also an AED at Woodbury's Eleanor Tripp Library on the corner of Woodbury and McKeown Rds, Rangitata Tearooms on State Highway 1, Cafe Mes Amis on the corner of SH1 and Orari Station Rd and Barkers Factory Gateway at 72 Shaw Rd, TeMoana.

Peel Forest will not be getting one of the nine defibrillators due to its own fundraising success two years ago. Their defibrillator, which is located on the outside of the Outdoor Pursuits Centre building, is also available to the public in an emergency.

The defibrillators can be accessed by the public from a locked box on the outside of the buildings. When a person requiring the machine rings 111, a St John staff member will provide the lock's combination. The caller will also be told where the nearest AED is and an ambulance will be despatched.

Project manager Sue Payne said it was important all residents in the area made sure their family, work colleagues and friends were familiar with where the units were. "We are sure that this initiative has the potential to save lives in our community."

She said the project was made possible by Southern Trust, Geraldine Licensing Trust, Geraldine Craft Market, Geraldine Schools' Bus Trust and Barkers Fruit Processors.

She also thanked Lions Club members Neville Robertson and Jim Hopa for installing the boxes and the Geraldine Community Resource Centre for sponsoring the application to Southern Trust. The trust has also co-ordinated bookings for training members of the community on using the AEDs.

"A huge thanks also to the building owners-occupiers for hosting the AEDs as it is possible that they may indeed be called on to provide assistance in an emergency.

"Also to strategic partners - residents, businesses, community and sports group members who have agreed to undertake training in use of the AEDs - thank you."

The Timaru Herald