Defibrillator program a life saver

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has urged sporting groups in the region to apply for funding towards a defibrillator as part of a NSW Government program.

The Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program will provide a minimum of 50 per cent towards the cost of a unit, and Mr Saunders said it is a literal life saver.

“Unfortunately, cardiac arrest can happen at any place at any time but there is a strong link at places where people are physically exerting themselves,” Mr Saunders said.

“We’re lucky in the region to have a lot of sporting facilities that have a defibrillator on hand, but if there are places that don’t have one but want one I would recommend applying through this program.”

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the initiative encourages sports and councils to invest in equipment that could save lives.

“Up to 7,000 people experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in NSW,” Mr Lee said.

“Defibrillators save lives and since the launch of the program, more than 1,500 defibrillators have been purchased by sporting facilities and clubs across the State.

“Medical experts say the first eight minutes following a cardiac arrest are critical. Early access to CPR and a defibrillator is essential to increasing a patient’s likelihood of survival.”

Heartbeat of Football founder Andy Paschalidis said it is vital venues are equipped to respond to these life-threatening emergencies.

“With more and more people of all ages participating in sport and recreation, I urge sports clubs and councils to apply for a grant and be trained and equipped to respond to these life-threatening situations,” Mr Paschalidis said.

The program is open from until 12 April 2021. For more information: https://sport.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants/defibrillator

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