A life-sav­ing gift

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TARRANT

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.

Photo: PET­RICE TARRANT

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.

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