Her only proviso was that they be placed on the outside of the Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff stores, where the public could access them in a hurry.
As a result, both shopfronts are now home to the borough’s first externally-mounted machines.
“We had an incident in the street where somebody wanted one and, I know there’s many in clubs, but I couldn’t find anybody with a key and I couldn’t access one,” Mrs Gaylard said.
Whilst the individual requiring medical help survived the episode, the incident highlighted an obvious problem – ready access to the life-saving devices.
“Ours are the first ones that we know of in the borough and we’re taking a risk that they might get stolen by mounting them on the outside of the shops, but they may also save a life,” she said.
Local resident David Jarman is the driving force behind the installations.
Having secured $3,000 from the Queenscliff Point Lonsdale Community Enterprise grant program for the Quienscliffe Neighbourhood House, he set about raising a further $3,000 to cover the full purchase and installation costs of the two defibrillators.
“I think it’s really important for the community to be able to look after ourselves and our visitors,” the former builder said. “There’s roughly 20 AED’s in the borough, but they’re all locked away.
“My idea was to have one in each of our main streets that are available 24-7.
“I came from an era where on every major building site we had a minimum of one death, and we all breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn’t us and reviewed our first aid training,” he said.
To coincide with the installations, Ambulance Victoria recently held a series of HeartSmart CPR training workshops for IGA staff and other business owners.
“We’re rolling the program out to different areas across the region with the aim of teaching more people how to perform CPR and how to use a defibrillator,” said parademic Bob Crole.
“Queenscliff is a perfect community to reach out to… anywhere where we’re more than 10 minutes away from a cardiac arrest is going to be difficult for the patient, so if we can get members of the community to start CPR and use defibrillators, we’re going to see survival rates go through the roof,” he said.