Future lives in Victoria’s west could be saved after three generous golfers at Peterborough Golf Club helped raise funds to ensure the town and nearby Port Campbell will each have their own defibrillators.
Michael Beer, Lachie Beer, Glen McGorlick and Andrew McQuinn set out to raise the crucial funds for the automated external defibrillator (AED) by playing 100 holes in a day during January this year.
“With amazing support from the members of Peterborough Golf Club and the local community along with support from generous friends, the money for our community defibrillator was raised,” said Peterborough Golf Club secretary Bob Hesketh.
“To manage to buy an AED for Peterborough with a secure wall unit, some consumables and an AED for Port Campbell police, we raised $6,000 as a result of the amazing generosity of many people. We will have the ongoing challenge of raising money for consumables.”
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in Australia and 90 people a day in Australia are affected by the heart condition.
Defibrillation vastly improves a person’s chance of surviving SCA and Hesketh admitted Peterborough’s isolated location made it imperative for the town to have its own defibrillator.
“Peterborough is a small community with a population of about 140 people,” Hesketh said. “The estimated time for an ambulance to arrive in the case of emergency is 30 minutes as the closest ambulance is at Timboon. If this ambulance is away from their station, it takes about an hour for an ambulance to arrive from Warrnambool.”
McGorlick, McQuinn and the Beers also contributed their own money to organise an Ambulance Victoria-run workshop in March to educate the community on the importance of CPR and how it is administered.
“Ambulance Victoria trainer Rod Crole and others (came) to teach as many of our local community to administer CPR and use the AED,” Hesketh stated. “As the police are usually the first on the scene at Peterborough in an emergency, we believe it is in our community’s interest for them to have an AED.”
Two ambulances turned out for the March workshop and offered training along with local nurses. Twenty-five members of the community were present and they are now fully adept at offering CPR and using the defibrillator, according to Hesketh.
“The event was successful for the chosen charity, Peter’s Project, which is now happening and details can be accessed online. Interestingly, since the local ‘defib’ has been installed, it has been called into action twice, but fortunately was not put into use.”
McGorlick, McQuinn and the Beers also played 100 holes in a day in January last year and raised more than $1,500 for Peter’s Project, which is a community bid to raise $5 million for an integrated Cancer Care Centre in Warrnambool.