Magpies premiership footballers come to rescue of heart attack victim
A POPULAR local sport- ing figure owes his life to the quick-thinking actions of Wangaratta Magpies premiership players and officials, and the club’s defibrillator.
Well-known local cricket and basketball identity Barry Grant was assisted at the Norm Minns Oval on Tuesday by Magpies premiership coach Dean Stone, administrator Rob Doolan, and players including Will Reilly, Dan Boyle, Zac Hedin and Mick Newton, after he suffered a suspected heart attack at the ground.
He was stabilised by the group before the arrival of paramedics, and transported to hospital; though flown to Melbourne late on Tuesday for tests, he is expected to recover well.
Mr Stone said it was a case of “right place, right time” for the Magpies, as they were only at the ground at the time because the bus arranged to take them to premiership celebrations was running late.
And Mr Doolan’s aware- ness of the defibrillator’s location ensured it could be used at the crucial time.
“It’s a great opportunity to stop and think, not only about having these machines at your workplace or sporting club or wherever, but to know where they are when you need them,” Mr Stone said.
“I’d tell anyone who hasn’t used one just how brilliant they are; they tell you what to do, it’s very clear, and we had Mick Newton on the phone to triple 0 helping inform us about what to do.
“It says a lot for our emergency services about how wonderful they were, and thankfully these things helped save Baz’s life.
“I wouldn’t say any of us were calm or relaxed, but the lady on the phone was so great, she kept us on track.”
Mr Stone encouraged everyone to learn CPR and basic first aid skills.
“I’ve never done a course, though I’ve had the opportunity a couple of times through my work, but I think I’ll put it on my bucket list,” he said.
And he believes the availability of defibrillators is essential, especially in sporting clubs.
“You’re almost negligent if you don’t have one,” he said.
Mr Doolan said he had been working in the clubrooms while the players waited for their bus, and became aware Mr Grant needed help.
“One of the fellas, Will Reilly, yelled out to grab the defibrillator, and they’d already commenced heart compressions,” he said.
Mr Doolan agreed that the defibrillator was easy to use, and came with clear instructions that enabled the Magpies group to give the help needed.
“It’s a marvellous piece of equipment, and it would be brilliant if you could have one on every street corner,” he said.
“We’ve had it for a number of years, and get one of our trainers who’s skilled in these things to check it every 12 months.
“If it’s never used again, so be it - it was there when we needed it, and because it was used quickly, it improved Barry’s prospects.
“The fact he’s alright is better than winning a premiership.”
Mr Grant’s twin brother, Darren, said the family was thankful for the assistance of the Magpies players and officials.
“We’re eternally grateful to those boys that they got good direction and were able to help him,” he said.
TO THE RESCUE: Zac Hedin (left) and Michael Newton with the defibrillator they used. SAVED: Renowned cricketer Barry Grant (below).