2021 Northampton Rural Ambassador calls for more defibrillators in local community

amy teakle
  • The 2021 Rural Ambassador for the Northampton Shire and St John WA Northampton Sub Centre Chairperson is on a mission to reduce negative cardiac arrest outcomes in regional WA through early-defibrillation with a new community education program,
  • The ‘save a mate’ program offers free, interactive CPR and defibrillator demonstrations around the community on school holidays,
  • In Western Australia, three people per day are treated for out of hospital cardiac arrests, 80% of those receive bystander CPR, while only 5% receive defibrillation prior to an ambulance arriving.

St John WA Northampton Sub Centre Chairperson and 2021 Rural Ambassador for the Northampton Shire, Amy Teakle is on a mission to reduce negative cardiac arrest outcomes in regional WA, becoming an advocate for the Midwest region through a new ‘save a mate’ program.

A passionate Northampton resident, Amy Teakle was driven to develop the ‘save a mate’ program following the death of a local shearer from a suspected heart attack in late 2020. This incident became the catalyst for her ‘save a mate’ program which offers free, interactive CPR and defibrillator demonstrations around the community on school holidays. Amy encourages locals to get hands-on experience with the machines and is an advocate for ensuring more defibrillators are installed across regional WA. 

In Western Australia, three people per day are treated for out of hospital cardiac arrests, 80% of those receive bystander CPR, while only 5% receive defibrillation prior to an ambulance arriving. Through her work with St John WA, Amy aims to significantly reduce the critical time between arrest and defibrillation.

Collectively, St John WA’s country volunteers travel more than two million kilometres across regional WA annually, transporting more than 64,000 people. With such long distances to travel, it is even more important to ensure people in regional towns have access to defibrillators as well as the knowledge and confidence to use them in an emergency situation.

St John WA Northampton Sub Centre Chairperson, Amy Teakle said it is so important for people to familiarise themselves with defibrillators.

“I am on a quest to reduce negative cardiac arrest outcomes in regional WA. My aim is to significantly reduce the time from arrest to defibrillation, where every minute counts. Intervention within the first 10 minutes has the most influence on positive outcomes,” she said.

“My goal is to continue my work with the Northampton ‘save a mate’ program and to raise awareness around the use of defibrillators. I want to teach community members of all ages how to respond effectively to a cardiac arrest, ensuring nobody is frightened to use the machines.”

The Shire of Northampton currently has eight 24/7 defibrillators installed, with an additional five set to be installed in brightly painted Telstra phone boxes – and initiative run by Amy to create a well-known, easily accessible location for new defibrillators. Through her community work, Amy has had several farmers approach her to purchase private defibrillators and have them registered on the St John WA Community First Responder network.

Amy will be speaking about the importance of early defibrillation and the ‘save a mate’ program at the local Northampton Agricultural Show on Saturday, September 11. At the show, they will be raffling off a defibrillator which was donated by the St John Northampton Sub Centre. 

Posted on:

8 September 2021

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