Almost 50 public defibrillators are now available across the Northern Beaches but some concerns have been raised over gaps that remain.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can save the life of someone who is suffering cardiac arrest. The sooner it is used, the greater the chance of survival. Because the device is automated, it does not require special training, instructions for use are given by the device itself.

When the heart stops pumping, an AED, commonly known as a ‘defib’, analyses the heart rhythm to determine if treatment is required. If needed, it uses electricity to administer an electric shock to re-start the heart or shock it back into its correct rhythm.

Northern Beaches Council has installed six ‘Zapstands’ across the Northern Beaches that are available 24-hours.

  • Careel Bay playing fields, near Avalon Soccer Club off Barrenjoey Road
  • North Narrabeen Reserve, near the beaches market off Walsh Street
  • Cromer Park, near playing field 2 at 120 South Creek Road
  • John Fisher Park netball courts, off Abbott Road
  • Miller Reserve, near Manly Vale Skate Park off Campbell Parade
  • Melwood Oval, near Forest Football Club off Melwood Avenue

A further 42 AEDs are available in publicly accessible locations such as surf clubs and council buildings, which may be accessible only when those locations are open.

The map of AED locations reveals most are clustered at the eastern edge of the Northern Beaches, leaving other areas with limited or no coverage.

Of particular concern are less accessible locations such as Cottage Point, where a local resident died of cardiac arrest in June 2019. The death was attributed to difficulties calling emergency services due to poor mobile phone reception. This resulted in Federal Government funding as part of the mobile phone black spot program.

Once emergency services were contacted it reportedly took a further 25 minutes for them to arrive. Cottage Point does have AEDs at Marine Rescue and the Kuring-Gai Motor Yacht Club, but they are not listed as part of Council’s program. Great Mackerel Beach, which also has location and access difficulties, has an AED available at the wharf.

A spokesperson for Northern Beaches Council confirmed that further AEDs would be placed across the Northern Beaches but were unable to confirm how many, or where, at this stage.

Likely locations are public spaces such as public buildings, sporting grounds and parks. If you have a suggestion for where an AED may provide public benefit, tell us below.

Image: Northern Beaches Advocate

Important: using an AED does not replace the need for emergency services. Call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

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