By SALLY GORDON
HEART attack victims who live at Coutts Crossing could face a wait of up to 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.
The one-way trip may not always take that long, but even so, the recently measured statistic gives little hope to residents involved in major health emergencies where timing is crucial.
The Coutts Crossing Heartstart Inc yesterday held a bowlsday fundraiser at South Grafton to help collect funds for a defibrillator and an oxy viva unit.
The equipment, when purchased, will be stored at the rural village, to be used by residents trained in first aid.
Coutts Crossing Heartstart Inc president Dianne Sneesby said bowlers raised $1100 at Sunday's event, taking their fundraising efforts so far to $3000.
A total of $10,000 is needed.
Mrs Sneesby believes the project would help provide an essential safeguard for the community.
"I believe it's vital, I believe its a government issue ... I think it should be legislated and we should have finer guidelines to set these up and get them operational," she said.
"They're not taking the place of the ambulance, the ambulance is still the first port of call, but it is needed to help save lives."
The initiative is a replica of the heartstart operation started in the Glenreagh, Coramba and Nana Glen communities almost two years ago.
In the case of an emergency residents, after calling Triple 0, will be transferred to a local resident who is trained to use the equipment.
The Coutts Heartstart group timed how long it took for an ambulance to travel out to the Coutts Crossing general store at 45 minutes.