Fair gets defibrillator
LOUISE Owen is ‘thrilled’ that Ballina Shire now has four public-access defibrillators.
The heart transplant recipient from Lennox Head was at the launch of the latest heart-starting machine, installed at Ballina Fair last week, to give a demonstration on how to use it.
She has been a long-term campaigner for CPR and the installation of public-access defibrillators since suffering a cardiac arrest while teaching, and pregnant.
She owns the business Hearts and Minds Cardiac Responder.
“Defibrillators should be every-where, like fire extinguishers,” she said.
“Defibrillators are what saves lives. They work in conjunction with CPR.
“And any attempt to save a life is better than none.”
The latest public-access defibrillator was funded to the tune of $3500 through the Lions Northern Rivers Community Trust.
The others in the shire are in the Wigmore Arcade, Lennox Head IGA and at the Ballina Beach Village at South Ballina.
Mrs Owen said there are about a dozen other defibrillators in the shire for the public, with organisations like surf clubs, hotels and licensed clubs also owning the life-saving devices.
“And that’s only in four years – four years ago, we had none,” she said.
“And we’ve already had lives saved.”
She said Ballina Shire is now one of the safest places on the North Coast to have a cardiac arrest in public.
She said for every minute that a cardiac arrest patient doesn’t receive CPR or is defibrillated, their chance of survival drops by 10 per cent.
“You’ve only got 10 minutes,” she said.
The idea to place a defibrillator in Ballina Fair came from centre management staff member Kylie Carmont.
She said she attended a first aid course – a requirement of her job – and thought the Fair needed a defibrillator.
She approached the Ballina Lions Club for support, and the club forwarded her request to the Lions Northern Rivers Community Trust.
Peter Dean, president of the Ballina Lions Club and zone chairman of the Lions Northern Rivers Community Trust, officially presented the life-saving machine to centre manager, Jenny Giuffrida, last Friday.
The defibrillator is located outside the centre management office in Ballina Fair, near Best and Less.