Life saving equipment is now available for the Tilligerry community to use thanks to the initiative of the Tilligerry Habitat Association.
Two easy to operate defibrillators have been purchased via $11,000 in funding from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.
The need for a defibrillator was identified when popular local Neil Wadling suffered a heart attack while participating at the Tilligerry Festival two years ago.
Tilligerry Habitat Association President Fran Corner said luckily for Neil a few quick thinking locals were able to save his life, however others may not have been so fortunate.
“Neil’s heart attack was the wake up call the association needed to apply for funding,” Ms Corner said.
“The majority of our volunteers are seniors who assist with gardening and hosting walking tours. After Neil’s incident it became evident that the possibility of someone else having a heart attack was high.
“We are extremely grateful for the Charitable Foundation funding which ensures we have the right equipment and training to potentially save a life,” Ms Corner said.
Charitable Foundation Chairman Michael Slater said research has shown that devices such as defibrillators are critical to increasing the survival rate of heart attack victims.
“Statistics from The Heart Foundation indicate that around 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack each year. This equates to one heart attack every 10 minutes,” Mr Slater said.
“The distance from Tanilba Bay to the nearest hospital highlighted the importance of providing Tilligerry Habitat Association with the life-saving equipment. The Foundation’s funding will also provide first aid training for 19 volunteers from the association.
“In the event of a medical emergency the dedicated volunteers will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and technology to make a difference,” Mr Slater said.
The defibrillators are located at Tilligerry Habitat Environment Centre and Port Stephens Marina.
At 83, Neil still dances and assists with teaching Rock N Roll seven times a week.
Local charity and not-for-profit organisations are invited to apply for the next Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation funding round, which closes on Friday 17 October 2014.
To make an application for a grant or to obtain further information, go to www.newcastlepermanent.com.au, phone 13 19 87, or visit a Newcastle Permanent branch.