A tragic farming accident has spurred on one woman to get a defibrillator for her tightknit community to ensure no other families go through the same pain.
Allan Leed passed away two years ago on his family farm at the age of 64 after a tree fell on him. His wife Denise performed CPR for over 45 minutes before an ambulance arrive.
Mrs Leed said a defibrillator could have saved her husband's life.
"My husband was crushed by a tree on our farm, just outside the kitchen window where I'm talking to you from now, and he died of mechanical asphyxiation," she said.
"I called 000, used the chainsaw to cut the tree off him and performed CPR with assistance from the local CFA until the ambulance arrived over 45 minutes after.
Having an accessible defibrillator may have improved his chances of survival.Denise Leed
"One of the things that stood out was the defibs weren't easily accessible to the community and there wasn't one on the fire truck.
"As a result of Allan's death, the firies now have one and the gold miners. The caravan park had one but it's been stolen.
"Honestly, the more we have the better. You don't know what the future holds but being prepared is the best we can do."
The average wait time for and ambulance to arrive in Pyramid Hill is about 50 minutes with the nearest stations being Cohuna which is 60 kilometres away and Bendigo which is 80 kilometres away.
For a township of around 500 people, defibrillators located in the township can be as close as a three minute drive.
"We are so isolated from emergency services and we have one of the poorest response times in Victoria," Mrs Leed, a former community and school nurse, said.
"When Alan died, we couldn't get an air ambulance and the time the road ambulance take to get here is a long time.
"We also have one of the worst life expectancy, particularly for men, in the Loddon Shire and part of that is a lack of access to medical service.
"Having this defibrillator will allow neighbouring properties to access and benefit the local community."
As a passionate resident of Pyramid Hill since 1978, and someone who has felt tremendously supported by her community since the passing of her husband, Mrs Leed applied for Pyramid Hill to be granted a defibrillator through the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and St John Ambulance.
The town's new defibrillator is hoped to be installed at the caravan park on September 1, pending coronavirus restrictions.
"We want to keep our community alive and healthy and I'm passionate about the community who have been very supportive since Allan passed," Mrs Leed said.
"I don't want what happened to us to happen to anyone else, it's been horrendous.
"If we can protect community by putting this in place, all the better."
VFF president Emma Germano announced that Pyramid Hill would be one of seven towns to receive a St John defibrillators.
"We are thrilled to announce the winners at a time when life-saving technology like this has never been more important to support local farming communities," she said.
"In some of these areas, having a defibrillator will be the difference between life and death as medical help can be far away."
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St John Ambulance Victoria chief executive Gordon Botwright was proud to partner with VFF to award the seven lifesaving defibrillator.
"As much as we hope these devices never need to be used, we are pleased seven more defibrillators are now available across Victoria," he said.
"The defibrillators will provide another critical safety measure and enable first responders to act immediately in an emergency. St John representatives will be providing training to the locals on the use of the defibrillator."
The project is funded by the Victorian Government through the Growing Victoria's Agriculture election commitment and the Smarter Safer Farms program.
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