Kit Cohr of Wairarapa Heart Foundation and Mataikona representative Marie Clement [standing], with Mataikona Community Group chairman Todd McIlvride, left, and resident Dawn Walker, Nigel Watson, Wairarapa manager, Wellington Free Ambulance, and George Walker. The defibrillator will be located outside Dawn and George’s house. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Portable defibrillators are now in place for public use in locations as far apart as the Kuripuni shops and coastal Mataikona, thanks to the Wairarapa branch of the Heart Foundation, and money by Masterton book sales in 2017.
Twenty-three locations were nominated for the automated external defibrillators (AEDs), first narrowed down to five, with the two sites finally chosen through a public poll.
The Heart Foundation allocated $8250 from last year’s book sales to the project, which was led by book sales volunteer Peter Debney.
Mr Debney said the two units were linked to the 111 emergency system – the first step in gaining access to the AEDs is to ring 111, with the service providing the key code to unlock the machines.
This ensures an emergency response is dispatched as soon as the machines are required.
The AEDs check heart rhythm and will not deliver a shock to restart a heart if they detect a rhythm.
“The message is that people should never be afraid to use the machines,” Mr Debney said.