CENTRAL Coast Council administrator Ian Reynolds has ordered an immediate review of a ban on having defibrillators at Pearl Beach.
Pearl Beach Progress Association has been at loggerheads with the council over its refusal to allow it to install one of four defibrillators it owns in a highly visible and easily accessible location near the public toilets.
The council maintained that a defibrillator at a nearby cafe and another at the tennis courts were sufficient. There were also concerns the defibrillators could be vandalised or misused.
However, it now appears the council has bowed to pressure after a community backlash over the decision.
It comes as emergency specialist and CPR expert Professor Paul Middleton backed calls for the defibrillators to be located in a more accessible location.
Prof Middleton, based at Sydney University and the co-founder of Take Heart Australia, weighed in on the debate after reading about the council ban in the Express Advocate.
He said every minute mattered during a cardiac arrest and the chance of survival dropped by 10 per cent for every minute.
“The council seems to be under the same misunderstanding as many, with concerns about complications,” he said. “They don’t understand these defibrillators have been designed to be used by someone who has never used one before.
“Having it in a shop or somewhere else is not good enough, it needs to be available at a moment’s notice.”
A truce was called on Monday after Mr Reynolds ordered a review and a council representative contacted the association’s president Ross Christie to arrange a meeting tomorrow.
Mr Christie said he was hopeful the council would do a backflip on the matter.
“I am pleased we got some response finally,” he said.
“I have been at this for months.”
The association was frustrated that the council killed off the project after it raised $25,000 to buy the defibrillators and secured a federal grant for a special cabinet to house one near the public toilets.
“It’s important that we get one near the beachfront,” he said. “People don’t choose to have a heart attack when the cafe is open.”
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