Gift of life for the lake with defibrillator installed at Lake Canobolas

LIFE SAVING: Regan Ferguson, Ben Keegan, Dan Burton with Pearl Butcher and the Dragons Abreast dragon boat crew at Lake Canobolas. Photo: DAVID FITZSIMONS 0811dfdragon1

LIFE SAVING: Regan Ferguson, Ben Keegan, Dan Burton with Pearl Butcher and the Dragons Abreast dragon boat crew at Lake Canobolas. Photo: DAVID FITZSIMONS 0811dfdragon1

The first life-saving defibrillator placed outdoors for public use in Orange has been installed at Lake Canobolas.

That golden 15 minutes could be the difference between life and death. - Dan Burton, Central West Radiology

The machine, which can help save the lives of people who suffer heart attacks, has been placed near the western beach at the lake.

It has been installed by Orange City Council after being gifted from Central West Radiology.

It will help all lake users, including the Dragons Abreast dragon boating club.

About 25 crew train on the lake each week.

Dragons Abreast co-ordinator Pearl Butcher said it was a fantastic addition for all lake users.

“We were gobsmacked when we found out,” she said.

“We were discussing it, about whether we should get one and how much it would cost when we learned about it.”

Central West Radiology, part of Healthcare Imaging Services, in Orange has donated the defibrillator to assist the club, several of whom have suffered breast cancer and have needed imaging at Central West Radiology.

GIFT: Orange council's Ben Keegan, and Dragons Abreast co-ordinator Pearl Butcher with Central West Radiology's Regan Ferguson and Dan Burton and the boat crew.

GIFT: Orange council's Ben Keegan, and Dragons Abreast co-ordinator Pearl Butcher with Central West Radiology's Regan Ferguson and Dan Burton and the boat crew.

Area manager Dan Burton said that because the lake was 15 minutes away from Orange and emergency health services it was critical that help could be on hand for anyone suffering a heart attack.

“That golden 15 minutes could be the difference between life and death,” he said.

“These guys, a lot of them would have been our patients.”

Central West Radiology medical liaison officer Regan Ferguson said they had been looking to make a donation and the boat crew were a worthy reason.

“It just tied in nicely, it was something to give back,” she said.

Orange City Council sports and recreation co-ordinator Ben Keegan said it was the first public defibrillator to be installed outdoors in Orange – following the installation of five inside public buildings around the city.

The donation comes just days after Orange City rugby coach Steve Hamson’s life was saved when two paramedics student, a registered nurse and other people used a defibrillator at Pride Park after Mr Hamson suffered a heart attack.

They kept Mr Hamson alive last Saturday until ambulance officers arrived 15 minutes later and rushed him to Orange hospital where he was reported to be recovering this week.

Sporting clubs can apply for a defibrillator under a $4 million government scheme to be launched in October. 

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