• Tony Bosworth

St Albans switches on to more public defibrillators

Sophie Wills (Chair & Founder), Lisa Wyatt (St Albans Committee Member), Gillian Jessup (Team Leader - St Albans) with the new defib device - number 32 placed at Wollombi Rd

St Albans now has four community AED (automatic external defibrillator) units with the latest installed on Thursday at Wollombi Road to give the remote community more peace of mind should an emergency occur.

The program to install easily accessible public AEDs in the Hawkesbury has been led by out of area paramedic and Hawkesbury local Sophie Wills who launched the Community Defib Project and heads the roll-out of the defibs program.

The St Albans Community Defib Project team was formed for the St Albans village and surrounding valley by Gillian Jessup – who heads up the local branch – along with Kate Stewart, and Lisa Wyatt, in June 2020.

Defib number 29 at St Phillips Church, Higher Macdonald

“Remote communities like St Albans and the surrounding valleys are 45-plus minutes from the nearest ambulance station which is far too long for any chance of survival in a sudden cardiac arrest,” Ms Jessup said.

During a sudden cardiac arrest with every minute that goes by, the chance of survival decreases by as much as seven to 10%.

“This translates to approximately 10 minutes or less to save someone’s life, so an AED nearby is a major plus,” Ms Jessup said.

Ms Wills said: “Our aim is for our local communities, no matter how remote they are, to have 24/7 community accessible AEDs installed that are no more than eight to 10 minutes apart from each other.”

The AEDs in the St Albans area can be found here:

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

#23 Bandusia, Upper Macdonald Rd, Upper Macdonald

#29 St Phillips Church, Higher Macdonald

#32 533 Wollombi Rd, St Albans

And new units in Lower Macdonald - #30 at Walmsley Rd and Lower Portland’s #31 at 786 River Rd - have also been switched on today.

Defib number 23 at Bandusia, Upper Macdonald Rd, Upper Macdonald

The Project team is still seeking sponsors for two more units to help complete the coverage across the valley.

Miss Wills thanked WFR Real Estate and other local donors/sponsors for their support:

#20 - Macdonald Valley Association

#23 - Andrew & Sarah Landman

#29 - Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers

#32 - Hawkesbury City Council

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