Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days donation to help police save lives

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Dowerin Police officer in charge sergeant Adrian Bailey.
Camera IconDowerin Police officer in charge sergeant Adrian Bailey. Credit: Countryman

Dowerin police have a life-saving tool in their arsenal after the event management team behind Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days donated a defibrillator.

Unlike the eight other defibrillators around town, the device — which is used in the event of cardiac arrest — will be securely stored in a police vehicle rather than readily accessible to the public.

But that does not mean it will not be used for the public’s benefit, according to Dowerin Police Station officer-in-charge Sgt Adrian Bailey.

“The new defibrillator will be carried by Dowerin Police to support the local community in critical incident attendance,” Sgt Bailey said.

“Police officers are currently trained in the use of a defibrillator as part of ongoing critical skill qualifications, but WA Police do not provide defibrillators as operational equipment.

“Assistance to purchase units is often sought from external groups or organisations.”

Dowerin police officer in charge sergeant Adrian Bailey.
Camera IconDowerin police officer in charge sergeant Adrian Bailey. Credit: Countryman

Sgt Bailey requested financial assistance from Dowerin Field Days event management but instead received a donation of the full purchase price.

“The Field Days board reviewed the funding application and purchased the defibrillator outright,” he said.

“This is the first unit that’s been available to Dowerin police.”

Sgt Bailey said he hoped he would never have to use the device but was grateful to have it should the need arise.

He said local police would manage maintenance and running costs with support from the Dowerin St John Ambulance sub-centre.

Dowerin sub-centre is run by a team of eight volunteers who are on call at all hours and regularly host first aid training courses.

Dowerin St John Ambulance vice-president Denise Sutherland said new recruits were always welcome but having police equipped with a defibrillator would be a huge help.

“It is so important for the community that the first responder in an emergency situation has a defib available, because the earlier the defib is applied the better the survival rate is for someone suffering from cardiac arrest,” Ms Sutherland said.

“If you’re just doing CPR itself, that’s fantastic, but the defib gives that extra chance of survival.”

Dowerin Police officer in charge sergeant Adrian Bailey.
Camera IconDowerin Police officer in charge sergeant Adrian Bailey. Credit: Countryman

According to St John Ambulance Australia, defibrillation within the first few minutes of sudden cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival to more than 70 per cent.

For every minute that passes without defibrillation, the chance of survival drops by 10 per cent, and without early defibrillation, fewer than 5 per cent of cardiac arrest victims survive.

Defibrillation in combination with CPR gives victims the best chance of survival while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Dowerin St John Ambulance has two mobile defibrillators, with publicly accessible ones at the town’s Community Resource Centre, Community Club, REED childcare centre, Masonic Hall, gymnasium, public swimming pool, golf club and road house.

Local police will be on hand on August 25 to provide a vital support role at the Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days.

As well as usual tasks, Sgt Bailey said officers would be responsible for foot patrols, crowd management support, traffic management, licensed premises management and event assistance.

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