Defibrillators at hand around town

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A life-saving initiative has been rolled out across the district thanks to Alexandra’s St John.
The group’s area committee has launched a campaign to boost the number of automated external defibrillators (AED) available for public use, 24 hours a day, throughout the district.
As part of the project, 10 AEDs are now available to the community.
Project co-ordinator Neville Grubb said Alexandra’s St John area committee helped fund the project to improve access to life-saving resources.
One, at the Alexandra St John building, has been in place for some time, along with another at PT Central in Boundary Rd, which was partly funded by the Central Lakes Trust and various businesses in the area.
‘‘We have decided that to be effective in the communities, we need to locate the AEDs at places which are easily recognised and have a common theme so that when people need to access them, they will know where they are, intuitively.’’
Mr Grubb said dairies and grocery stores were among the preferred locations to provide coverage within the three towns that were part of the project — Alexandra, Clyde and Omakau.
The AEDs are kept inside specially designed cabinets.
on the outside wall of premises, while the one in Aronui Rd is set next to a post box.
Their locations mean they could be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Mr Grubb said.
‘‘We do have many businesses in town with their own AEDs. However, they are located inside the premises and [are] only available during work hours.’’
Mr Grubb said St John’s area committee received a bequest from a local resident which went towards funding the project.
He said the aim of the project was to improve the community’s life-saving capabilities and to give something back to the communities that give St John ‘‘so much support in many other ways’’.
The AEDs cost about $3900 each, including the cabinets.
A key located behind a small glass window on the cabinet door can be accessed by smashing the glass.
Each AED has an ongoing maintenance cost of about $100 per year, including the replacement of its batteries.
Mr Grubb said a publicity campaign would soon be launched to inform the public of machine locations.
There will also be training opportunities for using the AEDs, along with lessons on CPR.
Each of the AEDs has been added to an app called AED locations, which can be downloaded on to a smart phone.

★ To find out where your nearest AED is, visit aedlocations.co.nz or goodsamapp.org