Grafton Midday Rotary president Robert Blanchard, immediate past president Bob Booth, Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, pharmacist Kishore Chand, Chamber of Commerce member Des Harvey and owner of defibrillator distributor Heartsafe Medical Solutions Phil Smith after the installation of one of six defibrillators in the Grafton CBD outside Friendlies Pharmacy in Prince St.
Grafton Midday Rotary president Robert Blanchard, immediate past president Bob Booth, Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, pharmacist Kishore Chand, Chamber of Commerce member Des Harvey and owner of defibrillator distributor Heartsafe Medical Solutions Phil Smith after the installation of one of six defibrillators in the Grafton CBD outside Friendlies Pharmacy in Prince St.

Hearts safe in the Grafton CBD

HAVING a heart attack in the Grafton CBD should not be a death sentence following the installation of six of the latest defibrillators at strategic points in the precinct.

Grafton Midday Rotary has spent $22,000 of State Government My Community grant money buying the defibrillators. All six were installed yesterday.

Immediate past club president Bob Booth described the project as “his baby.”

“The best thing about this project was the community actually had to vote for it,” he said.

“The defibrillator project attracted 1200 votes. I think the next best was 700.”

Despite the public’s enthusiasm for the project, Mr Booth said there were plenty of hard yards in getting it up and running.

“We had to go around to all the businesses to talk them into having one of the machines installed at their shop,” he said.

There were also delays as the club made sure each defibrillator was protected with CCTV surveillance to minimise the risk of vandal attacks.

Mr Booth said each site had to be available “24/7” and be easily accessible.

Each defibrillator is housed in a cabinet, with an alarm triggered each time the cabinet door is opened.

The owner of distributor Heartsafe Medical Solutions Phil Smith, said the machines were the latest defibrillator technology.

“They tell the operator what they have to do,” he said. “They take little to no training to operate, which makes them perfect for public use.

“They have capacity for 300 discharges or four years life, you can’t break them if you drop them and they’re easy to use.”

Mr Smith and his wife Jackie said they would demonstrate how to use the defibrillators in Grafton on Wednesday, February 26 outside the Friendlies Pharmacy from 9am.

The machines have been installed at Christ Church Cathedral, Friendlies Pharmacy, Mid City Arcade, L J Hookers Real Estate, the Clocktower Hotel and Clarence Valley Wholesalers.

Mr Booth said the club was looking to have defibrillators installed in the South Grafton CBD.

“We haven’t forgotten other areas,” he said. “But the roll out had to begin somewhere.”