Defibrillators to be rolled out to caravan parks

VISITORS and permanent residents of Nambucca Valley tourist parks can soon rest easier after the Commonwealth Government announce it will invest $1 million to support the installation of defibrillators at camping sites, throughout the nation.

The program by the Federal Government has been set up in partnership with the Caravan Industry Association of Australia.

An estimated 1000 caravan parks throughout the country will be given funding to ensure the installation of defibrillators at sites where more than 11 million Australians choose to stay each year.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said heading off on that caravan and camping trip to regional Australia has just become that much safer.

"Research shows that if a person is defibrillated within the first five minutes of collapse, their chance of survival is around 90 per cent," Minister Hunt said.

"For every minute that this is delayed, the chances of survival decrease by up to 10 per cent."

Minister for Regional Services, Bridget McKenzie said this investment will make those Australians who want to get out into the regions to explore the natural beauty, feel safer knowing that medical help is not far away.

"With 44 cents of every tourist dollar spent in regional areas and the industry providing eight per cent of employment in the regions, it makes smart economic sense as well as medical," Senator McKenzie said.

CEO of Caravan Industry Association of Australia, Stuart Lamont, said the funding will put the best technology into holiday locations across the country.

"Caravan parks are popular holiday destinations - particularly with senior Australians who are at an increased risk of heart attack," Mr Lamont said.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia will manage the implementation of the program on a 50:50 partnership, with caravan parks contributing half the cost of each defibrillator and will work with caravan parks to ensure a speedy roll-out of the program. Funds are available in this financial year.

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