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Grant helps local school buy lifesaving medical device

READY: Jasmine Arstall, Sally Vagg, Sarah Aldous, Anita McNamara, Will Raffin, Helen Sternberg and Louis Bright at Boyne State Primary School.
READY: Jasmine Arstall, Sally Vagg, Sarah Aldous, Anita McNamara, Will Raffin, Helen Sternberg and Louis Bright at Boyne State Primary School. Julia Bartrim

GOING into cardiac arrest does not have to be fatal if you have a defibrillator on hand.

This is the message Westfund Health Insurance is spreading through its Here for Hearts program.

Yesterday morning, Sarah Aldous, on behalf of Westfund, presented an Automated External Defibrillator to Boyne Island State School.

Westfund contributed a grant of $1000 and the school's P&C put in the remainder (approximately $1100).

School principal Michael Hurst said "it's a comfort to know we've (now) got the technology...you'd much rather have (a defibrillator) and use (it) rather than (perform) 30 minutes of CPR”.

"It's the difference between life and death - no one plans to have a heart attack.”

Each year the school's teachers undergo first aid training containing a session on defibrillators.

Helen Sternberg, workplace health and safety officer, said the students, although too young for first aid training, are nonetheless taught to call an ambulance in an emergency.

"Kids know the warning signs, they know where to go for help,” Ms Sternberg said.

The Here for Hearts program will award one more grant this year.

Ms Aldous noted Westfund was focussing the program on regional communities.

"If an ambulance is half-an-hour away (and you don't have a defibrillator) what are (you) going to do? she said.

The defibrillator came with extra mini-pads for infants.

Topics:  boyne island state school defibrillator grant westfund health insurance



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