Men learn to save each others’ lives

Life-saving tools . . . Timaru Community Menzshed members learn to perform CPR and to use a defibrillator at St John. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Helen Holt

Timaru Menzshed members learnt life-saving skills at St John on Monday.

Timaru Community Menzshed were given an automatic external defibrillator (AED) by St John Timaru, and sponsored by Alpine Energy. The team went to St John on Monday to learn how to respond to an emergency, including performing CPR and operating an AED.

Menzshed secretary John Cook said it was important for the team to have a defibrillator.

“We asked our team if they needed any new tools for the workshop, and they almost unanimously said that we needed a defibrillator.

“We are of a certain age. Quite a few of us have heart conditions.

“We worked out where the nearest AED was, and realised that if we needed one in an emergency, running towards it would polish off a few more of our members.

“The AED won’t just be for us, but for anyone nearby who could need one.”

The defibrillator was given as part of a St John programme which would offer to provide defibrillators where they were needed, and teach people how to use them.

Lesson in life-saving . . . St John paramedic Teressa May demonstrates CPR for Timaru Menzshed members. PHOTO: HELEN HOLT

St John Timaru community engagement administrator Sally Jarvie said it was important for people to know how to use a defibrillator.

“We’re wanting to teach people the three steps of life (call 111, start CPR, use an AED). We want to see as many people confident as possible.

“If people have confidence to do CPR and use the AED, then the chances of survival improve.”

Mr Cook said the programme, with the support from St John and Alpine Energy, was perfectly aligned.

“Men’s health is what we stand for. We’re not just a community workshop, but a community space, with a vibrant group.

“For some of us, it’s a reason for them to get up off the couch. This programme fits in with the wellbeing of men.”