The difference between life and death

The difference between life and death

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Serpentine Jarrahdale SES volunteers practice using the new automated external defibrillator. Photograph — Aaron Van Rongen.

An electronic device similar to the size of the average laptop could provide the difference between life and death for someone who is found to be in serious distress.

The Serpentine Jarrahdale State Emergency Service unit recently received its first automated external defibrillator (AED) for use in any life-threatening situation.

Deputy local manager Jason Smith said the defibrillator, which was donated by insurance company RAC, would make an enormous difference to its volunteers while on the job.

“We work on roofs all times of the year, in the middle of storms and in the middle of summer, and if something happens it is a safety net for us,” he said.

Mr Smith said the unit was also helpful for crews who often set out on foot in search of missing people around the state.

“It’s the size of a small briefcase and we will have it in our car ready to go at all times,” he said.

“It helps not just us as a team but also individuals in the community… it really would be the difference between life and death.”

RAC Executive General Manager of Advocacy and Members Patrick Walker said the AED units were donated to a number of services throughout Perth and regional Western Australia.

“We’re thrilled to support the inspiring efforts of around 2000 volunteers from more than 65 SES units across Western Australia, all of whom work tirelessly to care for their communities,” he said.

“Protecting and saving lives requires important medical equipment such as defibrillators to be readily available and we’re proud to help make that possible.”

SES Volunteers Association President Gordon Hall said the donations were greatly appreciated.

“Over the last year, SES volunteers responded to nearly 600 incidents including storms, cyclones, floods, land searches and vertical rescues,” he said.

“When responding to these incidents, we never know when a medical emergency may occur and this much needed technology will really help support our members and the community.”

Serpentine Jarrahdale SES is currently seeking new members.

For more information call Jason on 0433 542 283.