Lifesaving AEDs available along the Myall Coast

An AED located outside the reception at Reflections Jimmys Beach Holiday Park.

AUTOMATED External Defibrillators (AEDs) are slowly proliferating around the Myall Coast, however, only a fraction are available outside of business hours.

There are several AEDs that are housed indoors, including at the Tea Gardens Crossfit Gym, Providores fruit market, Men’s Shed, Tea Gardens Baptist Church, The Grange RSL LifeCare, Palm Lake Resort, Tea Gardens Pool, Tea Gardens Country Club, Tea Gardens Public Sschool, Coles, Regional Australia Bank, Ochre Medical Centre, Art and Craft Group, Tea Gardens Hotel, Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club, Myall Park Tennis and Croquet Clubs, the Golf Club, Hawks Nest Medical Centre, Myall Park Sports Complex, Thornton and King Lawyers, Tea Gardens Masonic Hall, and within emergency services vehicles including the Rural Fire Service (RFS), Fire and Rescue, Police and Ambulances.

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In Karuah, the local RFS, Medical Centre, RSL Club, Lionel Morten Oval and Tennis Clubhouse have AEDs.

Access to all of the above indoor AEDs, however, is limited by time of day, or location of vehicle.

There are only five outdoor AEDs accessible 24/7 in Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest, only one of which is located in Tea Gardens, at the Slipway.

The other four are located in Hawks Nest at the Community Hall, IGA, and both Reflections Caravan Parks reception buildings.

North Arm Cove has one outdoor AED at the Community Centre, as does Pindimar, outside the Pindimar-Bundabah Community Association Hall.

Kelly Pietsch, owner of MidCoast First Aid and Safety, has recently helped members of several community groups become reacquainted with their local AED, and has offered her insight on the lifesaving utility of the devices, based on her extensive experience with Fire and Rescue, Surf Lifesaving, and as a trainer.

“The ‘Chain of Survival’ calls for early recognition and sending for help, early CPR, and early and accessible defibrillation, as well as earlier advanced care,” Kelly told NOTA.

“The idea is that there would be more AEDs in more accessible locations, since cardiac arrest is not age-discriminatory, it can happen to anyone, and time is absolutely critical.”

“More accessible AEDs would be ideal, especially around nursing homes, where it is not just the residents that may need it – what about visitors and staff?” Kelly added.

While AEDs are not cheap, typically ranging from $1500 and up, the AED (Public Access) Bill 2024 currently before State Parliament would soon legally mandate “the installation and registration of automated external defibrillators in certain buildings, facilities and vehicles; and for related purposes”.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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