Clubs can’t pass offer

30 Mar 2017 • Border Mail, Albury-Wodonga (General News) by Ellen Ebsary

IT WAS the help of bystanders, quick-thinking staff and above all, a defibrillator, that saved a young man’s life at Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre in November. The Victorian government is encouraging sporting clubs to apply for the equipment, with about 400 available. WSLC area manager Ryan McNamara said the November incident, where a 24-year-old floating facedown was dragged from the water, showed just how important the machine was. “It played a really important role in saving a patron’s life and I would encourage everyone to look into the funding and get one for their club,” he said. “Our feedback from the paramedics on site was it saved his life really, that and the quick action of staff and bystanders. “Getting the defibrillator applied in those first couple of minutes really enabled him to lead a normal life.” This will be the third round of the government’s $2.7 million roll-out of 1000 machines. Northern Victoria MLA Jaclyn Symes said a number of regional areas weren’t eligible at first, but now were. “Participation in sport continues to grow in Northern Victoria – so we want more of our clubs to have the right equipment and training in case an emergency strikes,” she said. “Quick and easy access to a defibrillator, along with people trained in first aid and CPR is crucial to saving lives.” Mr McNamara said there was more awareness about the device than ever before. “I’ve been in the industry for 20 years and it wasn’t something you used to have in facilities back then; it was more associated with ambulances,” he said. “Now, I think everyone understands there are more around. “They are a very straightforward piece of machinery, which is what you need when dealing with an emergency situation.” Mr McNamara hoped the government’s program would assist outlying sporting organisations. “Knowing there’s funding available probably takes away a barrier for smaller clubs and facilities,” he said. “Even if there’s not (funding), I would encourage clubs to do their own fundraising. “If it does sit there gathering dust, fantastic, but if it even gets used once in 10 years and saves a life, it’s well and truly worth it.” For more information on the grants visit www.sport. vic.gov.au. Caption Text: INTEGRAL: Ryan McNamara is encouraging sporting clubs to apply for a defibrillator, which helped save a young man in November. Picture: MARK JESSER Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with