Mike Bridge and Ray Smith are excited about the prospect of more First Responder Units in the region.
Mike Bridge and Ray Smith are excited about the prospect of more First Responder Units in the region. Vanessa Marsh

Renewed appeal for life-savers

BUNDABERG first aid instructor Mike Bridge and Member for Burnett Rob Messenger are leading a campaign to see life-saving First Responder Units set up in regional areas in the Bundaberg region.

Mr Bridge, who has almost 40 years of first aid experience, approached Mr Messenger for help after he was refused funding to set up units in Mt Perry and Rosedale by Emergency Services Queensland.

“We are losing more and more people in outlying areas who don’t have to die,” Mr Bridge said.

“These people pay ambulance levies just like everyone else, but in the event of a cardiac arrest, and ambulance can take up to 40 minutes to reach them. It’s too late by then though.”

The experienced instructor said the first 10 minutes mean everything in the event of a heart attack, cardiac arrest and strokes.

“If we can have these units in the regional areas which can respond within a few minutes and keep these people going until an ambulance arrived, almost everyone would survive,” he said.

“These units are well and truly the difference between life and death.”

Mr Bridge helped set up the Woodgate unit which been a huge success in its 11 years.

It is estimated the set up of one group will cost $12,700 and $5000 annually to continue the service.

“That’s a pretty small price to pay for someone’s life,” Mr Bridge said.

“You really can’t put a dollar value on a life. This will help people from babies to the elderly.”

Mr Messenger will approach the Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts to enlighten him about the situation and hopes the program will become part of coalition policy.

“I have a real desire to see this model spread through the Burnett and throughout Queensland,” he said.

“I don’t care who takes it on board, I just want it in as many communities as possible.”

First Responder Units

First Responder Units comprise volunteers who are trained in life support skills.

They respond to community accidents or medical emergencies to render first aid until medical care arrives.



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