Kangaroo Lake not just a hop away from help

Clive and Gez Petullock hope that they can secure a defibrillator for their Kangaroo Lake Caravan Park. Picture: MEAGAN McGREGOR

Clive and Gez Petullock hope that they can secure a defibrillator for their Kangaroo Lake Caravan Park. Picture: MEAGAN McGREGOR

KANGAROO Lake Caravan Park's new owners have some big plans on the horizon, but one of the first changes they hope to make will help ensure the surrounding community's safety.

Clive and Gez Petullock have been advocating for a defibrillator to be stored at the caravan park due to the distance and time it takes for emergency services to arrive from Swan Hill or Kerang.

The need was highlighted earlier this month when a car accident occurred on the highway at the front of the caravan park. 

A car collided with a truck and the female driver was trapped in her vehicle for approximately an hour. 

Mr Petullock was first on the scene and called the emergency services to advise of the situation.

"In this particular case there was no need for a defibrillator, but it took 21 minutes for the first ambulance to arrive and had the lady required one, 21 minutes is too long," he said.

In medical realms there is a time known as the golden hour that refers to the immediate period after a trauma. 

It suggests that a person's chance of survival is best when medical intervention is applied in less than one hour after a trauma. 

In the case of irregular or no heartbeat, that period is reduced to minutes. 

Given Kangaroo Lake's location being 25 minutes from Swan Hill and 20 minutes from Kerang, Mr Petullock is concerned the travel time will impact on a person's chance of survival if they were to go into cardiac arrest.

"The lake is a well known location for watersports including swimming, skiing and fishing," he said.

"If there was an accident on the lake, a defibrillator could be the difference between life and death.

"We also have the highway on the other side where there is a lot of traffic including trucks and travellers with caravans as well as cars travelling at high speeds.

"The reality is, if there is an accident, chances are it will be a severe one." 

Mr Petullock ran into some obstacles attaining a defibrillator to store at the caravan park.

He was advised that a sporting club could be funded to hold one, but Kangaroo Lake doesn't have a ski or fishing club.

"Because we don't have a sporting club at the lake it means that we had to find the money ourselves and they cost around $2000," he said.

"I approached a few different places including Gannawarra Shire and we have just found out we may be able to get one through Ski Racing Victoria who plan to hold an event here.

"I've been in contact with them and they seem positive."

Mr Petullock said that anyone who completes a first aid certificate will be trained in the use of a defibrillator and the machines are basically automated.

"The machine itself has voice commands that directs the user on what to do.

"It has different pads for babies and it can also check for pulse.

"If there is no pulse, the machine then instructs the user how to administer the shocks."

A defibrillator is an electrical device that provides a shock to the heart when there is a life-threatening arrhythmia present. 

When the heart loses any controlled rhythm it goes into a fitting like action, with no cardiac output. 

A defibrillator provides shocks that bring the uncontrolled chaos to a stop so that it can start rhythmically contracting again, providing blood flow to the brain and vital organs to support life.

Mr Petullock said he saw a lot of impatient motorists on the road and was concerned this was the cause of accidents. 

He added the lake was a well-used resource for the whole community and a defibrillator stored at the park would be available to anyone in the community to access.

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