NEW DEFIBRILLATOR HAS CLUB READY TO SAVE LIVES
A POTENTIALLY lifesaving defibrillator arrived at Mt Druitt PCYC this week as part of an initial rollout to 27 PCYC clubs in NSW.
“We can now respond a lot more effectively if we do have a situation where somebody needs attention,” club manager Lance Chaloner said.
The $70,000 project, the first phase of an eventual rollout to all 63 PCYC clubs across NSW, is being done in partnership with the Michael Hughes Foundation.
The charity honours Michael Hughes, who died in 2013 aged 38 after he went into sudden cardiac arrest. The foundation raises awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and promotes the installation of accessible defibrillators.
Mt Druitt PCYC staff – paid, activities officers and volunteers — have more confidence following additional CPR and safety training, paired with the new defibrillator, Mr Chaloner said.
“The one unit will be installed centrally. It’s a very user-friendly unit, which all our staff have had training for and there’s ongoing training if we require it.
“This is another level of security and obviously wellbeing for our centre and our (1500) members.
“Fortunately, we have had minimum incidents not only in this complex but also with our outdoor activity, junior rugby league.”
The news was welcomed by Minchinbury’s Betham family, whose lives were struck by tragedy in 2014, when 15-year-old Maniah died from a heart condition at a basketball court while he was with his church youth group.
A beloved representative rugby player and champion swimmer, Maniah fell to the ground and only had minutes to be saved.
Mr Betham said: “Whether the defibrillator would have saved Maniah or not, we will never know, but mostly likely it would have.
“You never know who has a heart condition and it comes up surprisingly, so it’s always good to have some a fallback plan . . . if one child can be saved that’s fantastic.”
Mt Druitt PCYC activities officer Campbell Arundel with the defibrillator and (inset) Maniah Betham.