Health & wellbeing  |  6 May 2021

Community groups are taking charge of former public pool ‘lifesavers’.

Christchurch City Council’s Aquatics team have partnered with the New Zealand Red Cross to provide Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the community.  

“While the defibrillators have saved several lives in Council facilities, including poolside and in work areas, they are  suitable for community use for another few years,” Council Head of Recreation, Sports and Events Nigel Cox says.

“We update our defibrillators to best meet the needs of our busy spaces and some of the older models can be reused in the wider community. These are handed to Red Cross for a full check and new batteries and pads before a suitable community home is found.”

New Zealand Red Cross National Products Manager Marcus Bird says that the Council AEDs – initially provided through Red Cross – still have “plenty of life left and are ideal for community groups that may not normally have access to the devices”.

“Nearly half of those people treated for cardiac arrest survive thanks to a defibrillator provided by a community responder,” he says.

“They are such an important piece of the health and safety kit, with the Council AEDs at a range of facilities and out in the hills environments.

“With the Council upgrading AEDs to the latest technology at  high-use facilities such as pools, we can find a use for the older models. In this case, several community patrols had already approached us about keeping AEDs in their patrol cars.  

“These defibrillators are in good working order and can be repurposed, cleaned and checked out – with new batteries if needed – and used for a further five to seven years.

“The more AEDs out there in the wider community, the better the chance of survival following a cardiac arrest.”

Two of the lifesaving aids formerly available in Council facilities are already back in use with the Hornby and Christchurch North community patrols.

Pictured above: NZ Red Cross National Products Manager Marcus Bird, left,  Council Training Advisor Ben Warwick and Hornby Community Patrol member Norm Williams.