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February 2019

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Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jenny Mikakos and Ambulance Victoria CEO Tony Walker with (back) Dean Stone, Barry Grant, Robert Doolan, Steve Bathurst, Peter Dwyer, Peter Gamble, Louise Johnson, Braidyn Psaila, Jeanette Wenzel, Ken Colley, (middle) Michael Newton, Zac Hedin, Toby Hickey, Liam Savage, Oscar Hickey (front) Phoenix Pool, Marcus Pool and Winter Paget..

Ambos hail their community heroes

Seventeen Victorians have been hailed as community heroes for saving the life of fellow citizens.

‘Bystanders are often first at the scene of a medical emergency and we know that the steps they take in those early moments are crucial to saving lives and improving the health outcomes of others,’ said Ambulance Victoria Chief Executive Officer Tony Walker.

‘All the community heroes who saw someone in trouble just got in there, called triple zero (000) and did what they could.

‘When faced with a medical emergency, the actions of a bystander could be the key to saving a life before paramedics arrive.’

Associate Professor Walker said the cases were an important reminder about being prepared in case of a future medical emergency and he was proud to add their names to the heroes honour roll.

‘We have some of the most highly-skilled paramedics in the world but medical emergencies can occur anytime, anywhere.

‘It’s important we recognise and take inspiration as a community from the confidence that each of our heroes showed to put their own fear aside and step in to help someone in a life or death situation.

‘It takes a community – and the people recognised here didn’t hesitate to step in when it counted and their efforts saved lives.

‘Knowing first aid, learning CPR and teaching children when and how to call triple zero (000) are things everyone can do, to be able to assist others,’ Associate Professor Walker said.

Last year was the 19th Ambulance Victoria’s Community Hero Awards.

2018 community hero recipients were:

•      Oscar Hickey, 15, Toby Hickey, 13, and Liam Savage, 13 – Four boys were watching a basketball game on a laptop while soaking in a spa. Next thing they noticed one of them was at the bottom of the pool next to the spa. The boys went quickly to work, remembering their training at Little Nippers and helped save their brother and friend;

•      Dean Stone, Michael Newton, Zac Hedin and Will Reilly – Footballers made use of a defibrillator to save a local cricket legend. Barry ‘Baz’ Grant was making his rounds checking the pitch for the weekend cricket match when he collapsed. Local players relaxing on the grass noticed this happen. They grabbed the defibrillator and helped him back to life;

•      Jeanette Wenzel, Ken Colley – Graeme McIlwaine was moving his cattle down an isolated road when he collapsed. A neighbour and her gardener rushed to him. They were able to perform CPR because the neighbour remembered a first aid course she had done and called triple zero (000);

•      Steve Bathurst, Louise Johnson, Peter Gamble, Peter Dwyer and Braidyn Psaila – A bus driver outside Sovereign Hill noticed a backpack and clothing on the ground near the entrance and stopped to investigate. A group from inside the tourist site banded together to save the life of a runner who had collapsed. Paramedics put the man in an induced coma and took him to hospital;

•      Phoenix Pool and Winter Paget – An eight-year-old boy and his three-year-old sister noticed first thing in the morning that Dad was incoherent and confused. The siblings remained calm. Winter sat with her dad while Phoenix was on the phone to triple zero (000). Phoenix kept the call taker informed about his father’s condition while the ambulance was on its way.