Defibs on the pitch

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TERRY Gatward and John Tansley are relentless in spreading a vital message.

The pair have been heavily involved in ensuring all MWFA clubs have defibrillators at grounds across the northern beaches this season.

Gatward is the Manly Vale president.

When quizzed on why he thinks defibrillators must be essential, his answer was succinct.

“An old teammate (Ges D’Sousa) died on the field,” he said.

“At his wake I met up with John (Tansley) and we both felt something had to be done.

“We also had the death of (Avalon’s) Col Green, which was equally tragic.”

The defibrillators have already been rolled out, and were spotted last weekend at venues such as Graham’s and David Thomas Reserve.

Next step is education, so in the event of an emergency, players know the best course of action.

“It seems pretty straight forward, but if someone does collapse and go into cardiac arrest, every second counts,” Gatward said.

“We have trained close to 100 people including players, referees and club officials.

“We are finalising the production of a training video to go on all club websites which will then be forwarded to all team managers and players.

“We also are having our first Zap Station installed at Cromer Park this month, this is a 24/7 back to base monitored unit.”

The final step will be approaching local and state government, plus local clubs to partner with in a more extensive roll out of the Zap Stations at ovals which have high community activities.


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