All aboard the defib bus

Hazelwood Coaches owner/ driver Mark Bruetron has purchased a defibrillator to carry on board his coach which he says could save the life of passengers who have a cardiac arrest. photograph hayley mills

Hazelwood Coaches owner/ driver Mark Bruetron has purchased a defibrillator to carry on board his coach which he says could save the life of passengers who have a cardiac arrest. photograph hayley mills

A Latrobe Valley bus operator says a defibrillator on board his 53-seat coach could save the life of a child or an elderly passenger.

Hazelwood Coaches owner/driver Mark Brueton recently spent $3000 on an automated external defibrillator and has encouraged other bus operators and people working in the transport industry to consider doing the same.

"I'm the captain of the Yinnar South Fire Brigade and it's been something the CFA has been pushing for brigades and organisations to have for quite some time," Mr Brueton said.

"I'd been wanting to purchase one for a little while since I've been back on the road and statistics say a defibrillator gives people a better of survival if they have a cardiac arrest, so I thought it was about time I got one."

Mr Brueton started the business in 2000 but sold it 11 years later before buying it back again in May last year.

He said a majority of his clients were school-aged students and the elderly who could be at risk of a cardiac arrest.

"I do cart a lot of senior citizens around for general charters and day tours, but also with school groups going to sporting events too. It's not just adults that can have a cardiac arrest, children can too," Mr Brueton said.

"We need defibrillators in public transport, however, the cost is the biggest problem.

"In saying that, it is a tax-deductible item and that's an investment that I hopefully won't have to use but one day [it] could save someone's life."

The Jeeralang Junction resident has undergone the training required to operate the defibrillator which he said was "simple and straightforward" to use.

Victorian First Aid operations director Darren Johnson said defibrillators were becoming a regular piece of equipment sporting clubs, community groups and businesses were investing in.

"There should be a requirement to have defibrillators right across the community because they are life-saving and they do improve patient outcomes," Mr Johnson said.

"Ambulance Victoria have a place on their website where you can locate the closest AED for you to access should there be someone in the street that is having a cardiac arrest.

"It might be that someone outside your office has a cardiac arrest and people can actually jump online and check where the closest defibrillator is. There's no doubt they save lives."

For more information about the Ambulance Victoria AED Registry, visit registermyaed.ambulance.vic.gov.au.

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