Blue Mountains council could fund defibrillators at sportsgrounds

Wants "heartstarters" at sportsgrounds: Cr Brendan Christie with David Smith, president of the Blue Mountains Football Club and Frances Refalo, the Nepean Football Association president at Knapsack Oval, Glenbrook.

Wants "heartstarters" at sportsgrounds: Cr Brendan Christie with David Smith, president of the Blue Mountains Football Club and Frances Refalo, the Nepean Football Association president at Knapsack Oval, Glenbrook.

Blue Mountains councillors are looking into putting council funds towards life-saving defibrillators at all sporting clubhouses in the local government area.

Ward 4 Councillor Brendan Christie said if council can put money towards a defibrillator at the Springwood Hub, they can find the funds for life-saving devices at sports grounds. 

Defibrillators, which cost about $3000, restore the heart's normal rhythm by delivering an electric shock through two pads placed on the patient's chest.

Cr Christie brought the issue to council as a matter of urgency on May 2 and asked that council receive a report to consider the feasibility of the council funding and/or supplying defibrillators for all sporting clubhouses within the Blue Mountains local government area.

"This was brought to my attention by one of our sporting clubs in Ward 4,” Cr Christie told the Gazette.

"If council can fund defibrillators for our own buildings like the Springwood Hub, we should definitely help fund them for our sporting clubs who are at greater risk,” he added.

“We've all seen media reports where players have suddenly had heart attacks on the field, young and older players. By helping to fund these across the Mountains we can prevent an unexpected player death,” Cr Christie, whose son plays soccer for the Blaxland Redbacks, said. 

David Smith, president of the Blue Mountains Football Club raised the issue with Cr Christie and told the Gazette it was about preventing a tragedy.

“We’ve got a lot of senior players … defibs are everywhere and the last thing I want to happen is for someone to need one and we don’t have one. I understand Penrith [council] has funded them.”

The idea has come to the fore among many football clubs, he said, after a 46-year-old St Marys football player passed away in April after playing in a Nepean Cup game on Wednesday night.

“Not all [Mountains] clubs are going to be able to afford a defib so any assistance council can give is well needed.”

The idea was backed by fellow Liberal councillor Kevin Schreiber and passed unanimously by his fellow councillors. Council was also asked to refer the matter to the Blue Mountains Sports Council for a briefing.