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Life saver . . . A defibrillator has been placed in Aronui Rd on Bridge Hill. The device is something resident Glenda Thompson was pleased to discover, due to the time it would take for help to arrive from Alexandra's town centre. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON
@alliedpress.co.nz

Alexandra’s Bridge Hill is home to a new automated external defibrillator (AED).

One of the life-saving devices has been placed in a box on Aronui Rd, which the public can access in an emergency.

Resident Glenda Thompson recently discovered the device and was keen to learn more about who was behind the initiative. She was pleased her community now had the benefit of the AED.

She said until now there were no defibrillators nearby and believed the closest would have been on the other side of the Clutha River, in the Alexandra town.

“I think it’s terrific – it’s wonderful,” she said.

Bridge Hill’s new defibrillator is stored in a locked box on the footpath, next to a post box.

The device, which is accessible 24 hours a day, is part of an Alexandra St John area committee project.

Project co-ordinator Neville Grubb said the AED would soon be added to the GoodSAM app, which shows people where defibrillators are located in their area.

Earlier this month St John, along with other emergency service colleagues, marked Restart a Heart Day.

The day aimed to educate the public on CPR and AEDs to improve the chances of surviving cardiac arrest.

St John medical director Dr Tony Smith was among those working to educate the public.

“Early intervention with CPR combined with defibrillation can more than double someone’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. By increasing the numbers of trained members of the public and access to AEDs we can better the odds for the more than 2000 Kiwis who suffer from a cardiac arrest each year,” he said.

“As well as brushing up on your CPR know-how, the theme of this year’s Restart a Heart Day encourages people to know where their nearest AEDs are located.”

Dr Smith said finding your nearest AED automated external defibrillator was made easy by becoming a registered CPR-trained GoodSAM responder.

“Anyone over 18 who knows how to perform CPR can visit our page stjohn.org.nz/goodSAM to register and download the GoodSAM responder app, so that they can be alerted that a person nearby is in cardiac arrest and needs help. If you accept a call for help, you are immediately shown a map of where the patient is and where the nearby AEDs are located. Since launching in April 2018, more than 4000 Kiwis have signed up, and we’ve already seen lives saved as a result.”