Firefighters raising money to save lives

Firefighters Adam McGarvey and Dan Goodwin bringing bingo nights for heart health. Photo: Andrew Campbell.

It's bingo night at the Mount Brewing Co on tonight for a cause dear to everybody's heart – an automated external defibrillator.

The devices save lives, and St John Ambulance stats are pretty compelling.

Every year more than 2000 New Zealanders suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital and of that 2000 only 15 per cent survive to be discharged from hospital.

For 64 per cent, a bystander will perform CPR, but the use of an AED within three to five minutes of their collapse can increase the chance of survival by up to 40 per cent.

“At the end of the day every minute counts when you are having a cardiac event,” says local firefighter Adam McGarvey.

“By getting an AED on someone, it increases their chances of survival. The thing is easy to use. Anyone can use them, that's why we want to get them out in the community.”

Since firefighters became first responders to medical calls over the last year or so, Adam and fellow firefighter Dan Goodwin have become aware just how many of the NZ Fire Service's calls are ‘purple' calls, to cardiac events where time is of the essence.

And just how few of the devices there are out there.

“There's a huge shortage in our community. Most of these are available at about $2,500 to four grand which to be fair, is not that much money to save someone's life,” says Dan.

Down the Mount, there's one AED at the moment at the ASB – and they close at 4pm.

“If a cardiac event happens after 4.30pm down the Mount, then they will have to wait for the vehicle that will turn out, which will be the ambulance hopefully on station at Bayfair,” says Dan.

The other idea behind the Bingo Night is to raise public awareness about AEDs, and looking at building a relationship with the city council about signage.

Meanwhile Mount Maunganui businesses are contributing to the prize pool that is hoped to bring people out to Monday night's bingo night in their droves

Waterman Store they have come to the party with a surfboard and five pairs of boots.  Sisters and Co has provided a Deadly Ponies handbag.

The Venue is the Mount Brewing Co, which is introducing a karma key for the night.

The amount paid for beer will be donated to the cause. Local MP Clayton Mitchell will be Master of Ceremonies for the night which starts at 7pm.

Learn more about AEDs.



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