Life saved during a lunch break

COMMUNITY HEROES: Grant Farrell, Shaye Mulhall, Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy, Shane Scoble, Ambulance Victoria CEO Tony Walker and Team Manager Kellianne Jones

COMMUNITY HEROES: Grant Farrell, Shaye Mulhall, Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy, Shane Scoble, Ambulance Victoria CEO Tony Walker and Team Manager Kellianne Jones

UPDATE, 3.30PM: Every year, Elphinstone man Grant Farrell and his colleagues at Mount Alexander Shire Council undergo CPR refresher training. 

Grant put those skills into practice for the first time on August 12, as he and workmates Shaye Mulhall and Shane Scoble took turns performing chest compressions on a middle-aged man who had collapsed and stopped breathing.

The man’s mother ran across the road to the council depot in Castlemaine where Grant, Shaye and Shane were on their lunch break, to seek help.

“We had just started our lunch when she came over,” Grant said. 

The trio found the woman’s son slumped over a garden fence. 

Grant and Shaye lifted the man off the fence, and placed him on the ground in the recovery position.

While they checked his vital signs, Shane called 000.

The Good Samaritans were advised to start performing CPR.

“Within minutes, the ambulance was there,” Grant said. 

He and his colleagues continued providing CPR under the instruction of paramedics.

“We continued doing that for some time,” Grant said.

After five shocks from the defibrillator, he said the patient started showing signs of life.

A total of seven shocks were administered. 

Acting Loddon Group Manager Tony Walsh nominated the trio for Community Hero Awards.

Paramedics were impressed by the workers’ teamwork.

The central Victorians were among 18 recipients of the awards, presented on Thursday at Parliament House in Melbourne. 

Grant, who has worked for the shire for about 17 years, said he was proud to have been able to help the family and the paramedics.

“It’s a good feeling,” he said.

However, he said he felt bad that he and his colleagues – Shaye, from Kangaroo Flat, and Shane, from Guildford – were getting an award for something paramedics do all day, every day, and in far more trying situations, with “little recognition.”

Ambulance Victoria chief executive officer Tony Walker said the case proved how vital CPR was in the community to help save lives. 

‘‘Survival from cardiac arrest is greatest when CPR and defibrillation are carried out by the public prior to ambulance arrival,” Mr Walker said.

“It is with the actions of the public that Ambulance Victoria can continue to save lives.”

EARLIER: Three central Victorian men are being recognised as community heroes for helping to save a life during their lunch break.

The trio sprang to action after a woman ran into their Castlemaine workplace on August 12 seeking help for her son, who had collapsed. 

The three men – from Elphinstone, Kangaroo Flat and Guildford – found the man slumped over a garden fence.

Two of the men lifted the ill man off the fence and placed him in the recovery position on the ground, before checking his vital signs.

The third worker called 000.

Ambulance Victoria paramedics arrived to find the trio delivering CPR, a skill they had learnt during first aid training provided by their employer.

Paramedics praised the men for their team work, noting that the trio rotated CPR duties so paramedics could prepare to defibrillate the patient.

The ill man has since recovered.

The three workers are among 139 people nominated for a Community Hero Award, being presented at Parliament House in Melbourne today.

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