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Helping hands . . . Observatory Retirement Village general manager Rosie Dwyer receives an automated external defibrillator from Rotary Club members Robert Gonzales (centre) and Gordon Martin. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Staff and residents of the Observatory Retirement Village can rest easy following the installation of an automated electronic defibrillator (AED).

The piece of life-saving technology was donated by the Rotary Club of Oamaru last Friday.

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient.

Rotary president Robert Gonzales and long-time Rotarian Gordon Martin presented the device on behalf of the club to village general manager Rosie Dwyer.

“It’s extremely generous,” Mrs Dwyer said.

“I think it’s a very worthwhile and necessary item of equipment to have in our retirement village because we’re growing and growing.

“A defibrillator is a valuable piece of equipment. It provides people with a better chance if they do have a cardiac arrest in the community.”

Since the village opened last year, an AED had been on the “wish list”, Mrs Dwyer said.

Mr Gonzales said Rotary decided to give an AED to the village after a Rotarian who also serves as a village director expressed the need for one to the club.

“It felt like a good idea,” Mr Gonzales said.

“We always feel very privileged to be able to be part of the community and support the community in ways like this.

“We have some senior Rotarians that are now residents here so we can see a link there.”

The AED will be placed in the community centre of the facility, and staff members will be trained in using the device.