Local police to gain defibrillator as part of local paramedic students fund raising efforts

GREAT EFFORT: Senior constable Wendy Hudson (Youth Liaison officer), Sgt Ben Hall, Superintendent Paul Fehon, Sgt Ron Mudford, Brandon Robinson (student), Adam Lowes (President of Student Heart Project), Tracey Green (Executive Dean faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioral Science, Professor Heather Cavanagh and Phillip Ebbs (Senior Lecturer in Para Medicine). Photo: Oscar Carter.
GREAT EFFORT: Senior constable Wendy Hudson (Youth Liaison officer), Sgt Ben Hall, Superintendent Paul Fehon, Sgt Ron Mudford, Brandon Robinson (student), Adam Lowes (President of Student Heart Project), Tracey Green (Executive Dean faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioral Science, Professor Heather Cavanagh and Phillip Ebbs (Senior Lecturer in Para Medicine). Photo: Oscar Carter.

The Port Macquarie and Kempsey communities will benefit from life saving devices presented to the NSW Police local area command by students at Charles Sturt University (CSU) on December 6.  

The Student Heart Project, established three years ago, has raised funds through numerous projects to help fund two defibrillators which will be house at police station’s in both Port Macquarie and Kempsey according to graduating paramedic student Brandon Robinson.

“The Student Heart Project raises awareness about the need for publicly accessible defibrillators.

“Every year we host an event called the Red and Blue Ball where the money raised goes towards helping fund projects we want to undertake.

“From the funds raised, we have collected enough to half fund two defibrillators, and working with the local police funding the other half, we have been able to get a device placed at the local area command here in Port Macquarie and one in Kempsey. 

“We decided to work with police because they can be the first on the scene at a critical incident and can use the defibrillator until paramedics arrive,” Mr Robinson said.

As a graduating paramedic student, Mr Robinson said that if a defibrillator can be applied quickly to a person who is experiencing a cardiac episode the chances of survival are much greater.

“We know that the first five minutes after someone has a cardiac arrest are critical, and we also know that if a defibrillator can be used in those first few minutes the chances of a better outcome are a lot greater,” he said.

We know that the first five minutes after someone has a cardiac arrest are critical, and we also know that if a defibrillator can be used in those first few minutes the chances of a better outcome are a lot greater

Brandon Robinson

Superintendent of the local area command Paul Fehon said that it is a great collaboration to be able to get these defibrillators into local area command stations on the Mid North Coast.

“We were approached for sponsorship of the defibrillators so that we could house them at the local area command both here in Port Macquarie and in Kempsey so that we had the ability to respond should we have someone present to us with a heart issue or even for someone in our custody.

“We can also utilise them as first responders until the paramedics can arrive,” Mr Fehon said.

Senior lecturer in para medicine Phillip Ebbs said this project is ensuring that students are becoming contributing members of the community from as soon as the start their studies.

“From my point of view, it is really important the students get involved in and get integrated into community life as soon as they start with us, so this a spectacular initiative and example of paramedic students coming together, contributing and giving back to the community.

“These defibrillators are going to save lives and is exactly the kind of program that the university and the students are capable of, and should be doing as part of their studies to give back,” Mr Ebbs said.