Lowood SES volunteer Daniel Giddins, with St Johns Ambulance manager of event health services Leo McNamara and Lowood captain Carol Conboy. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel
Lowood SES volunteer Daniel Giddins, with St Johns Ambulance manager of event health services Leo McNamara and Lowood captain Carol Conboy. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel

SES troupe adds vital lifesaving equipment to rescue tools

Lowood SES Volunteers are now better equipped at saving lives after winning a defibrillator machine from a St Johns Victoria competition.

The machine, which was delivered to the station on Wednesday night, will become part of the crew’s important rescue equipment.

Whether it’s a call-out for a fallen tree or a deployment during floods, Lowood SES senior member Daniel Giddins, said it added strength to the volunteer unit.

The team had been fundraising for the expensive item, but thanks to Mr Giddins’ application, the funding can be put towards other lifesaving equipment.

“Luckily Lowood hasn’t been in a situation where we have required a defib, but we have been in situations where people come to the SES and ask for first aid help,” Mr Giddins said.

Lowood SES volunteers gain first hand experience with their new defib machine. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel
Lowood SES volunteers gain first hand experience with their new defib machine. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel

Using the machine has become part of the SES unit’s training program, with volunteers given an induction on Wednesday night by St Johns manager of event health services and former paramedic Leo McNamara.

Mr Giddins, a SES volunteer of 29 years, said he was thrilled Lowood was chosen as a recipient.

“I enjoy helping people, and at the end of the day when you’ve done a temporary repair on someone’s roof they’re just so happy that you’ve helped,” he said.

Without defib machines, less than five per cent of cardiac arrest victims survive, but a study shows Queenslanders rank having instant coffee more “necessary” to have in the workplace.

According to the study by St Johns Ambulance, only 9 per cent of Queensland workers deemed the defib machine as the most important item in the workplace when asked to rank crucial office essentials.

Instant coffee, paper, pens, a fire extinguisher and first aid kit ranked higher.

Lowood SES volunteers gain first hand experience with their new defib machine. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel
Lowood SES volunteers gain first hand experience with their new defib machine. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel

To help save more lives, St John Ambulance launched the highest capacity defibrillators available, with up to 420 shocks on one single battery.

St John Ambulance Victoria’s CEO, Gordon Botwright says having a defibrillator accessible can be a matter of life or death and that it should be a necessity in any workplace.

“Paramedics don’t always make it in time for a sudden cardiac arrest emergency and lives are many times saved by those brave enough to use a defibrillator, often for the first time,” he said.

“Sadly, according to recent Victorian’ reports, only 4 per cent of bystanders apply defibrillation in an emergency and far too many Australians, who could have survived, lose their lives.”

Originally published as SES troupe adds vital lifesaving equipment to rescue tools