• St John Ambulance Service Australia is donating lifesaving medical equipment to Papua New Guinea (Supplied)Source: Supplied
St John Ambulance Australia and an emergency medical equipment organisation are donating life-rescuing medical kits to Papua New Guinea's ambulance service before the Pacific Games.
Andrea Booth

Pacific Games, NITV News
1 Jul 2015 - 10:48 AM  UPDATED 1 Jul 2015 - 2:21 PM

St John Ambulance Australia and manufacturer Physio-Control is equipping Papua New Guinea with cardiac defibrillators ahead of the Pacific Games which starts on July 4.

St John Ambulance PNG chief officer Courtney Muller said he was “ecstatic” about five automatic cardiac defibrillators and a further five with advanced capability that the Australian branch and Physio-Control are deploying to 10 ambulances there.

NSW State Staff Officer Matt Cannon said the importance of the devices could not be understated. “The potential these defibrillators have for saving lives in PNG is significant,” he said.

The automatic defibrillators enable health workers to deliver a shock to patients experiencing cardiac arrest to induce a normal heart rhythm.

Mr Cannon, a paramedic who will assist the PNG service and the Pacific Games Committee over the Pacific Games' duration, added that the initiative was part of the Australian service's effort to enhance the skills of health workers in PNG.

“[PNG St John Ambulance] is developing an advanced training course for their ambulance officers to skill them to a paramedic level.

“Once they’re at that level, they’ll be able to use the advanced functions on these devices.”

The advanced functionality can correct defects such as exceptionally slow heart rates, and assist diagnoses such as determining whether a patient with chest pain is experiencing a heart attack or has a coronary artery blockage.

St John Ambulance PNG provides ambulance response to 111 emergency calls around the clock.

Peter LeCornu, the chief executive of St John Ambulance Australia, said he was proud about the support St John was providing its northern colleagues.

“This is about continuing a partnership between St John Australia and St John Ambulance PNG, our closest neighbour.”

“This is about continuing a partnership between St John Australia and St John Ambulance PNG, our closest neighbour,” Mr LeCornu said.

“This equipment enhances the services provided to Papua New Guineans and ensures that the strong humanitarian focus of the international St John Ambulance brand will continue in PNG”.

International sporting competition Pacific Games will host 22 countries around the South Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, between 4 and 18 July. Watch all the action LIVE on NITV!