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Give your community a ‘heart massage’

St John Media Release, 20 June 2008

Give your community a ‘heart massage’ this St John Appeal

St John Appeal: 22 to 28 June 2008

St John is encouraging all New Zealanders to give their local communities a ‘heart massage’ this coming week by giving generously to the St John Appeal.

“Donating to St John helps us provide our vital life-saving emergency services, caring services and community programmes throughout the country,” St John Chief Executive Jaimes Wood says.

“Everything we do at St John, we do to help your community. St John is a charity and we need New Zealanders as much as New Zealanders need us. We rely on the support of the community to provide our services,” Mr Wood says.

We receive Crown agency funding to provide the base funding for our Ambulance operations, but St John relies on fundraising in partnership with the community to make up the deficit each year in Ambulance operations, and to fund our caring and community programmes. St John, working in partnership with communities, also provides the funding for our ambulance stations, ambulances and other ambulance service capital items.

“Our community programmes include St John First Aid Training courses, designed to build community resilience and empower ordinary New Zealanders to help save lives while an ambulance is on the way. Our first aid courses, offered nationwide, include training in the life-saving resuscitation technique CPR,” Mr Wood says.

“By giving generously this St John Appeal and by going the extra step to learn CPR, you are supporting your community in a really practical way.

St John Week runs fromSunday 22 to Saturday 28 June 2008. St John Appeal envelopes will be delivered to 1.2 million households all over New Zealand from Monday 23 June 2008.

Background on this year’s St John Appeal theme follows

Media inquiries: Ali Tocker, External Communications Manager, 027 211 2159

This year’s St John Appeal theme

• The St John Appeal envelope this year features a personal story from Alison Powell - an ordinary New Zealander who made an extraordinary difference by helping to save the life of her husband, Richard Powell, when he went into cardiac arrest at their home.

• Alison had previously trained in first aid

• Alison’s training enabled her to immediately recognise that her husband had gone into cardiac arrest, when he collapsed one evening in their home.

• Alison says the training she received gave her the confidence to make a real difference on the scene, phoning 111 immediately and beginning CPR with the support of the St John Ambulance Communications Centre call taker until the ambulance officers arrived.

• The St John ambulance officers worked to resuscitate Richard, congratulating Alison on the excellent care she had provided to her husband. The ambulance officers used a defibrillator to provide a safe electronic shock to ‘restart’ Richard’s heart, before transporting him to hospital for further care.

• After a period of time in critical care, Richard has made a full recovery. Two weeks later, he was able to return to his work as an IT Manager Alison says Richard can still beat his father at chess and complete the most difficult Sudoku. He has started exercise and cycling again.

• Alison is encouraging all New Zealanders to learn CPR and to donate to St John this St John Appeal.

Listen to the live 111 call Alison made to the St John Ambulance Communications Centre at www.stjohn.org.nz(under Recent News)

ends

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