Tragedy prompts life saving response

BROOMS Head holiday makers, residents and businesses have opened their wallets to save lives by starting hearts.

In just three months the community has raised $2750 to buy a defibrillator for medical emergencies.

The need for such a device arose last year when a man staying at the Brooms Head Caravan Park collapsed from a suspected heart attack.

“The lifeguards, Sam and Mitch, worked on the gentleman for some time and they revived him,” Gail McNeilly, the onsite manager at the park said.

“He was then taken to hospital but he died the next day.

“When the boys came back to the office we asked them what we could have done to help save his life and they said a defibrillator would have helped.”

So Gail and her colleagues sprang into action.

In the last week of the Christmas holidays they started rasing money for a heart starter with a collection jar on the counter at the office and a few signs around the place.

To Gail's surprise, instead of taking their key refund of $10, most campers were putting it straight in the jar.

“I was amazed at how many people were also putting $20 in saying it was for a good cause,” she said.

The generosity of the campers was reflected around the village.

The Brooms Head General Store donated $200 and the bowling club another $650.

The bowling club had also recently donated profits from the joker draw to the Brooms Head RFS, who chose to pass $800 of the money on to the defibrillator fund.

The compact life saving machine will be kept in the office at the caravan park, which is manned 24 hours a day.

Gail said it was there for the entire community to use and was quite simple to operate. She said as soon as it was switched on a computerised voice coached the operator through the process, so anyone could save a life.

“Instead of taking their key refund of $10, most campers were putting it straight in the jar.”



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