A $39,600 donation from Adelong-Batlow United Hospital Auxiliary (UHA) has provided funding to equip all of Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s (MLHD) Patient Transport Vehicles with life-saving equipment.
Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) have been purchased for the eight Patient Transport vehicles recently added to the fleet.
“The MLHD Patient Transport Unit has grown from seven to 15 vehicles across seven sites since 2013,” said Manager Phil Major.
“We have new vehicles at Finley, Narrandera and Young to support the Wagga Wagga, Temora, Griffith and Deniliquin units.”
The PTV’s provide non-emergency transport to patients needing transfer between MLHD health facilities, including patients from Adelong, Batlow, Tumbarumba and Tumut.
“Our original vehicles were supplied with AED’s but not our expanded fleet,” Mr Major said.
“The generosity of the Adelong-Batlow UHA has provided the funding to equip each of our vehicles with an AED.”
Mr Major said AEDs are the only known device that stops chaotic electrical heart activity and allows the heart to re-establish itself to a normal rhythm.
“Defibrillation within three minutes increases the chance of survival to over 70 per cent. Each minute is critical to determining survival and the extent of permanent damage to your brain and body.”
Adelong-Batlow Branch President Jennette Rosetta said it gave members great pleasure to provide the funding.
“We are all very excited to be involved with such a project that will assist so many,” UHA State President Linda Swales said.
“Mr Ian Giles, the local gentleman who bequeathed a large sum to our Auxiliary, would also be very pleased that his money is serving so many across the Murrumbidgee,” she said.
The Batlow defibrillators will be marked with tongue-in-cheek patches labelling them ‘Apple Whackers,’ a reference to the ‘Packer Whacker’ nickname given to defibrillators after they were widely installed in Australian ambulances at the urgence of media tycoon Kerry Packer.
Mr Major said MLHD was extremely grateful to the UHA, the local community and the Giles family for such a generous donation.
“This wonderful gesture means every patient will have access to potentially life-saving equipment if needed in a medical emergency,” he said.