• Tony Bosworth

Community Defib Project celebrates 20th Hawkesbury AED as three new units go up on the weekend

The Community Defib Project has installed the twentieth community AED in the Hawkesbury with three new units going up on Saturday.

Including other local government areas, there are now 45 AEDs in place, all thanks to the Project and enthusiastic local teams of volunteers.

What began in the St Albans area as a way to ensure some immediate assistance in the event of a heart attack, has now spread across more areas of the Hawkesbury – most in places where it can take an ambulance almost an hour to arrive even when they set off immediately a call is received.

Now you can access AED units in St Albans, Cumberland Reach, Upper Colo, Blaxlands Ridge, Sackville-Ebenezer and Oakville-Maraylya-Pitt Town.

The three new units were installed at Upper Colo, Blaxlands Ridge and Kurrajong.

Founder and Chair of the project, Sophie Wills, said, “the uptake in the Hawkesbury has been incredible. The communities within the Hawkesbury can see the value in the project and have been supporting it.” Sophie said.

“As a Hawkesbury local I know how special this community is, I know how much of a privilege it is to live where we do. But we also must be realistic about how far we are from help. We must come together as a community to create a more prepared and safer community. That’s what the Community Defib Project is about.

Upper Colo Rd, Upper Colo (left) and Cedar Ridge Rd, Kurrajong

“We’re here to give you the tools to prepare your community to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest and possibly save a life.” Sophie said.

The way the Project works is to ask locals to form volunteer groups and they then help get funding for the installation of each AED in their own areas. There are no more than 40 volunteers across the Hawkesbury who have been responsible for the benchmark moment of 20 AEDs being installed.

Ms Wills said the team leaders in each area should be applauded for all their work – they are:

Gillian Jessup (St Albans), Richie Benson (Cumberland Reach), Rod Cumming (Upper Colo), Melissa Barry (Blaxlands Ridge), Tanya Little (Sackville-Ebenezer) and Chris Dickinson (Oakville-Maraylya-Pitt Town).

The 20 community AEDs in the Hawkesbury LGA are:

#2 - Webbs Creek Ferry Crossing, Wisemans Ferry

#4 - Sackville Ferry Crossing, Sackville

#8 - 335 Settlers Rd, Lower Macdonald

#10 - Corner Wright’s Creek Rd & Settlers Rd, Wrights Creek

#13 - Macdonald Valley Public School, Central Macdonald

#15 - 602 Chaseling Rd Sth, Leets Vale

#16 - Del Rio Riverside Resort, Leets Vale (currently out of order post floods)

#18 - 251 Greens Rd, Lower Portland

#19 - 377 St Albans Rd, Lower Macdonald

#20 - Corner Wollombi Rd & Wharf St, St Albans

#23 - 1056 Upper Macdonald Rd, Upper Macdonald

#29 - St Phillips Church, 1737 Upper Macdonald Rd, Upper Macdonald

#30 - 42 Walmsley Rd, Lower Macdonald

#32 - 533 Wollombi Rd, St Albans

#36 - 139 Wollombi Rd, Fernances

#37 - 49 Gorricks Run, Upper Macdonald

#38 - 1389 Upper Colo Rd, Upper Colo

#43 - Corner Comelroy Rd & Blaxlands Ridge Rd, Blaxlands Ridge

#44 - 1907 Upper Colo Rd, Upper Colo

#45 - 151 Cedar Ridge Rd, Kurrajong.

The 20 AEDs have been possible thanks to many local donors, sponsors and grants. Community Defib Project said they would like to acknowledge Transport for NSW, the NSW Government, Del Rio Riverside Resort, Juniors on the Hawkesbury, the Macdonald Valley Association, Hawkesbury City Council, WFR Real Estate Agents, Foran Industries, Mania Constructions, MCC Constructions, Johannsen Chittick Trust, Pollard Civil, Landman Family, Brodie Family, Sun Family, Community Bank North Richmond & Districts and Richmond and Arbor Escapes.

There are more community AEDs planned for the Hawkesbury. To get involved or support the project contact info@communitydefibproject.org.au www.facebook.com/communitydefibproject - www.communitydefibproject.org.au

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