Josh's heartfelt campaign for life-saving equipment

A tragedy too close to home inspired Josh Stanton to help save lives in his community.

Josh Stanton of Tura Beach is the driving force behind two new defibrillators in Tura and Merimbula available 24/7. Photo: Ben Smyth

Josh Stanton of Tura Beach is the driving force behind two new defibrillators in Tura and Merimbula available 24/7. Photo: Ben Smyth

Mr Stanton, of Tura Beach, has been the driving force behind getting automated external defibrillators installed at both Tura's shopping mall and at Merimbula McDonald's.

The defibrillators are accessible at all hours, securely installed and monitored on the outside of the buildings.

Mr Stanton said the project, which was taken on by Merimbula Rotary, was a way of possibly having some good come out of a terrible situation.

Several months ago, Mr Stanton was among a small group of people performing CPR on a neighbour while awaiting Ambulance paramedics.

It was late at night and he said it took the ambulance close to half an hour to arrive.

"I never thought it would ever take that long - it's a long time to be doing CPR," he said.

"I don't want to be in that situation, or hear of someone else in that situation ever again.

"I don't know if a defib would even have made a difference, but I don't want to be in the position of asking the question for the rest of my life."

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Mr Stanton said he began asking questions of his local shopping centre as to the availability of an AED. At the time none had one - and even if they had, it would've been behind locked doors once the shops closed.

"They're no good to anyone if they are locked up at night," he said.

He heaped praise on Rotary for backing the idea and offering to fully fund the purchase and installation of two defibrillators.

"Others have all been supportive as well, but Rotary did more than I ever expected."

Pharmacist Matt Bottomley says he was only too happy to host the defibrillator on the external wall of the Tura Discount Chemist.

Pharmacist Matt Bottomley says he was only too happy to host the defibrillator on the external wall of the Tura Discount Chemist.

Matt Bottomley at Tura's Discount Chemist was also highly supportive of the idea, giving Mr Stanton one of the locations on the external wall of the Tura Beach Shopping Complex.

The second is located in the drive-thru of McDonalds Merimbula. Both locations have lighting and security after hours, with monitoring also provided through Primus Security, Mr Stanton said.

"It feels good that something good can come of this tragic experience. Hopefully we've done all we can to help others."

What is a defibrillator?

According to St John Ambulance Australia, a defibrillator is a life-saving device used to treat a sudden cardiac arrest, a condition that occurs when the heart unexpectedly stops pumping.

The defibrillator analyses the heart rhythm and recognises abnormalities. The machine will decide whether a shock is required to be delivered to the casualty or not.

If there is normal electrical activity in the heart e.g. the heart is beating regularly, an AED will not allow a shock to be delivered.

Defibrillation is most effective when carried out as quickly as possible in the first few minutes after sudden cardiac arrest.

St John Ambulance says for every minute that passes, the chance of survival is reduced by 10 per cent.

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