A life-saving gift
Volunteer firemen will be saving more lives after the purchase of a new defibrillator.
The $3600 fundraising venture, spearheaded by the Tokoroa Freemasons, gives the Tokoroa Volunteer Fire Brigade the ability to respond effectively to cardiac arrests.
Fire chief Dave Morris said his men attended more than 100 medical calls every year and had responded to 37 cardiac arrests since 2012.
While the ambulance should always be first port of call, Mr Morris said there were times when the firemen were the first to the scene if the ambulance was on another call out or out of town. ‘‘We’re the next cab off the rank.’’ Mr Morris said a victim’s chance of survival was much higher with the aid of the defibrillator as opposed to CPR alone.
Volunteers will be put through a refresher course by ambulance staff before the Life Pak Defibrillator goes on the truck. ‘‘We spoke with ambulance personnel to ensure we got the best machine that will be compatible with their equipment.’’
He said ambulance staff would be able to hook the plugs into their own machines when they arrived on scene.
Freemason members Gary Price and Bob August co-ordinated the fundraiser, involving a metal collection and sale, over six months.
Mr Price said the community was extremely generous in supporting the project.
Tokoroa Rotary Club made a substantial donation which helped them reach the required amount in record time, he said.
When the Freemasons heard word that the station was in need of a defibrillator they jumped at the chance to help out, Mr August said.
‘‘We are always happy to do the right thing.’’
He said a few Freemasons were firemen so they appreciate the nature of the job.
Put to good use: Tokoroa Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Dave Morris, centre, is happy to have a new defibrillator thanks to the efforts of Tokoroa Freemasons such as Bob August, left, and Gary Price.