Life-saving machine has Ballinas health at heart
By Graham Broadhead
BALLINA'S CBD is one of the safest places on the North Coast to have a heart attack.
The town's public access defibrillator a computerised heart-starting device was unveiled on Wednesday night and is located in Wigmore Arcade in the town's centre.
The $4700 machine was donated, and will be maintained, by the Rotary Club of Ballina. CPR and defibrillator trainer, Louise Owen, of Lennox Head, demonstrated the life-saving machine to the small gathering at its launch. It was the first public access defibrillator to be installed on the North Coast, north of Newcastle, she said.
The nearest public access defibrillator is sited in Brisbane. Just to prove the point that you never know when you might need medical help, an ambulance arrived at the River Street end of the arcade just as the launch was coming to a close it is believed a person suffered an epileptic fit nearby.
Mrs Owen knows all about suffering a surprise heart attack. In 1990, when she was pregnant with her second child, Katy, she had a cardiac arrest while teaching a Year 9 class at Grafton the students and teachers kept her alive until ambulance officers arrived.
The president of the Rotary Club of Ballina, Bruce Bevan, said that anyone using the machine was protected by special State Government legislation which safeguards Good Samaritans.