Graphic: A group of people stand under a basic beach shelter. They are all smiling at the camera.

Saving lives at remote surf beach

Date published

04 Apr 2019

Graphic: A remote beach with choppy water and blue skies

The RFDS recently installed an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) at Cactus Beach, a remote surf beach on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, 850 kilometres west of Adelaide, a popular spot for local ‘salties’ of all ages and many a grey nomad crossing the Nullarbor to Perth.

Complemented by a RFDS Medical Chest, the AED was installed by the RFDS in response to a local campaign by Cactus Beach local Kiwi White to purchase the unit; learning of this initiative the RFDS supplied Cactus Beach with an AED at no cost to the community.

Graphic: 5 people stand under a basic wooden hut at a beach. They all smile at the camera.

Designed for use by people with little or no medical training, when applied to a collapsed patient, an AED automatically delivers an electrical current through the chest to shock
the heart back into a normal rhythm, allowing it to pump again.

Funded by donations from the community and RFDS National Partner, life insurer TAL, it is one of over 100 AED’s distributed throughout outback
South Australia over the past six months. 

“AEDs save lives – they are proven to help keep someone alive until emergency services arrive,” says Natalie Szabo, RFDS Executive General Manager Health Services Development.

“This is a great example of how local communities can rally together to not just identify local challenges and needs, but reach out and work together with organisations such as the RFDS to solve them,” Ms Szabo says.