Members of the public may play a critical role in the chain of survival following the installation of two defibrillators in Milton and Ulladulla town centres.
The idea, raised by local Men's Health and Cancer Support Group Tony Hardman, came to fruition this week with the potentially life-saving equipment installed on the walls of the Bendigo Bank in Milton and Priceline in Ulladulla.
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Ulladulla Ambulance Station's intensive care paramedic Matt Potter said NSW Ambulance paramedics strongly supported the installation of the defibrillators for public access in the community.
"Early defibrillation and CPR significantly improves survival rates for patients who suffer a cardiac arrest," Mr Potter said.
"Every second counts when your heart has stopped beating and members of the public play a critical role in the chain of survival."
Mr Potter gave a demonstration to the men's cancer support group meeting in June. The two new defibrillators are simple to use with easy-to-follow voice prompts.
"The cardiac arrest resuscitation message is to call triple zero and ask for Ambulance, commence CPR and attach a defibrillator if one is available," he said.
"If you are not first-aid trained, our triple zero call takers will guide you through the process. However, we do recommend everyone completes an accredited first aid course to practice these skills. These defibrillators will save lives."
Funds for the devices were secured with a grant from the NSW Premier's office, Bendigo Bank and Raine and Horne Milton/Mollymook.
Milton Cancer Outpatients Appeal president Peter Still praised South Coast MP Shelley Hancock for advocating for funds and the Milton-Ulladulla community for its donations.
John Schuttle installed the units free of charge on Monday, June 17.
Where else can you find life-saving equipment in the district?
Sports clubs, community groups and registered clubs are some of the locations defibrillators have been purchased and stored in the community.
The Milton Ulladulla Tennis Association, Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs, St Georges Basin Scouts, Mollymook Longboarders, Makai Paddlers Society and Mollymook Outrigger Canoe Club, Zone 28 Pony Club and the Shoalhaven Clay Target Club are some of the successful applicants who received funds from the NSW Government to purchase the equipment in the past two years.
Milton's CWA branch was also given a life-saving gift from an anonymous donor in May, 2017.
Eleven registered clubs in the Shoalhaven have also purchased them in the event they are needed, a ClubsNSW spokesperson said.
"This includes .. Milton Ulladulla Ex Services, Mollymook Beach Bowling & Recreation Club, Mollymook Golf Club, Milton & Ulladulla Bowling Club, Club Jervis Bay, Husky Sports, Vincentia CountryClub, St Georges Basin Country Club, Sussex Inlet Golf Club, Sussex Inlet RSL and Sussex Inlet Bowling Club," the spokesperson said.
"Fortunately the machines are not called upon often, but it is comforting to know that when they are, they have been integral in assisting the emergencies.
"Such was the case in 2017 when the defibrillator purchased by the St Georges Basin Country Club was used in an emergency and saved the individual's life."