De­fib­ril­la­tors vi­tal on trips

The West Australian - - WEST WHEELS - Ray Cully

Be­ing part of a four-wheel-drive club brings the op­por­tu­nity to travel as a group, which means shar­ing the work and in­creas­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties for safe and en­joyable ex­plo­ration.

At any club get­away, chances are the par­tic­i­pants will range from small chil­dren to re­tirees; from peo­ple with a high level of en­ergy and fit­ness who want to climb ev­ery peak to those who pre­fer a more laid-back pot­ter around the scenic camp site.

The one sur­pris­ing (and some­what dis­turb­ing) fact is that sud­den car­diac ar­rest can strike any per­son re­gard­less of age, gen­der or health. The sin­gle most im­por­tant fac­tor con­tribut­ing to im­prov­ing sur­vival rates is the time taken to ad­min­is­ter early CPR and de­fib­ril­la­tion.

This is why St John Am­bu­lance have been work­ing with 4WD clubs to pro­vide the op­tion to pur­chase au­to­mated ex­ter­nal de­fib­ril­la­tors at a club-special price.

In Oc­to­ber, the Mit­subishi 4WD Own­ers Club of WA, the WA 4WD As­so­ci­a­tion and Track Care WA each took de­liv­ery of two new Heart­start HS1 de­fib­ril­la­tors.

This added to the Mit­subishi Club’s com­pre­hen­sive first-aid kit, al­ready in­clud­ing an AED. While to date they’ve not needed to help out any club mem­ber, some mem­bers com­pe­tently and con­fi­dently un­der­took CPR when a truckie at a north­ern road­house ex­pe­ri­enced a car­diac ar­rest in 2010.

The ben­e­fits of train­ing and the de­fib unit were ob­vi­ous to ev­ery­one.

As a very ac­tive club with po­ten­tially mul­ti­ple out­ings on any given week­end for the en­thu­si­as­tic mem­ber, the Mit­subishi Club will have one of its three AEDs on al­most ev­ery one of the nearly 40 events they con­duct each year.

Like the last week­end in Oc­to­ber, when 45 mem­bers headed to Ko­orda for a so­cial week­end.

About 230km north-east of Perth, Ko­orda is about a three-hour drive. The lo­cal Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre is very ac­tive, led by man­ager Kim Storer, who worked with the Club to ar­range farm vis­its, mu­seum open­ings, lo­cal cot­tage in­dus­try in­sights and other ac­tiv­i­ties that pro­vided mem­bers with a range of in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

Very pop­u­lar was Satur­day night at the drive-in movies. Ko­orda has one of only three op­er­a­tional drive-ins in WA and for older mem­bers the ex­pe­ri­ence of queu­ing up in their cars brought back plenty of mem­o­ries.

Of course, the younger folk found it all very novel as their only pre­vi­ous big-screen movie ex­pe­ri­ences re­quired ex­it­ing their ve­hi­cles.

The old-style speak­ers that hung over the win­dow frame are long gone — now you just tune your car ra­dio and en­joy sur­round sound.

For a nos­tal­gia trip head to ko­orda.crc.net.au.

If you’re look­ing to join a wellor­gan­ised and highly ac­tive club

with a broad mem­ber­ship, check out mit­subishi4wd.org.au.

While about 60 per cent of mem­bers drive Pa­jeros, you’re wel­come re­gard­less of the front badge (as long as your four­bie has low range be­cause most events aren’t soft-roader suit­able).

Most im­por­tantly, at the next meet­ing of your own 4WD club, sug­gest the pur­chase of an AED and ap­pro­pri­ate train­ing. It could be the best sug­ges­tion of your life.

With the de­fib­ril­la­tors are, back row from left, Mit­subishi Club WA pres­i­dent Paul Ryan, WA 4WDrive As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Bruce Brink­ley, St John business de­vel­op­ment man­ager Angelique Schiemenz and Mit­subishi Club WA meme­ber Peter Cole. Front row are...

OFF ROAD­ING The Mit­subishi Club of WA en­joyed a nos­tal­gic evening at the Ko­orda drive-in. Pictures: Ju­dith Brink­ley

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