Machine to Help Save Lives

17 January 2012

We now have a small machine that could save lives at one of the many events the city hosts each year - all thanks to the generosity of St John Ambulance and RWC Philips.

Carole Srhoy-Pullon (left) from St Johns shows the defibrillator to the Council's Events Manager

Carole Srhoy-Pullon (left) from St Johns shows the defibrillator to the Council's Events Manager

Before Rugby World Cup 2011, RWC Philips donated automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the 20 competing teams. When the tournament finished, the AEDs were given to St John which has now donated them to local communities.

Our events staff will be trained, courtesy of St John, to use the AED, which is worth $4,500.

Every year in New Zealand more than 1,000 people go into cardiac arrest outside the hospital environment and only 8 percent survive.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the defibrillator will save the lives of Wellingtonians and visitors in years to come.

"Wellington is such a great events capital and we really welcome St John's support," says the Mayor.

"Since my first-aid refresher course, I realise just how easy these machines are to use. Thanks to St John's."

St John Rugby World Cup Manager Gary Salmon says AEDs are lifesaving pieces of equipment - giving a short electric shock to the heart allowing it to regain its natural rhythm after a person suffers a cardiac arrest (more commonly known as a heart attack).

AEDs can increase the chance of a person's survival by up to 40 percent. St John encourages Wellingtonians to learn CPR and how to use an AED.

"It's easy and you could save someone's life. Heroes aren't born - they are trained," says Mr Salmon.