Learning to restart a heart

Dame Lynda Topp (aka Ken) performing CPR.
Photo Heather Mackenzie


A large group of Methven locals left the Methven Park with newly found CPR skills and confidence earlier this week.

A training afternoon was held next to the Methven Medical Centre, organised by the Local St John volunteers as part of World Restart a Heart Day.

The numbers around heart attacks are damning and there’s a lot of work going into educating people, St John volunteer Sara Davis said.

“Over 10,000 people in New Zealand have a heart attack each year and only one in ten survive,” she said.

Five fully decked out St John officers, along with Dame Lynda Topp posing as her popular character Ken, created a fun, entertaining environment for people to test their skills.

Methven Volunteer Fire Brigade members stepped up to a three minute CPR challenge set down by the St John team.

The winners, as voted by the crowd, were St John, however challenge commentator Topp asked the audience to give both sides a round of applause.

“Because these guys save lots of lives,” she said.

Well known songs with strong regular beat are a handy way to remember a CPR rhythm.

Baby Shark was a hit with the younger set and Staying Alive was chosen as an example for the older crowd members.

Whilst the afternoon was full of fun, a BBQ, spot prizes and music, there was also a serious message to get across.

For every minute that passes when someone has a cardiac arrest, chances of survival fall by 10 to 15 per cent.

“Doing something is better than doing nothing,” Methven St John chairman David Molly also pointed out.

Dr Sophie Febrey popped out briefly to check out the action.

The Methven doctor said the knowledge of how to help someone who was found in a situation where they were having a heart attack was vital, especially in a town like Methven.

“In a rural community like ours every minute counts,” she said.

“I live 12 minutes out of Methven, plus I would have to go to the medical centre to get my bag. This all adds up to valuable time lost. If someone I knew had a heart attack I would like to think someone near them had the confidence to carry out CPR.”

“In those valuable first minutes the public performing CPR would be no different to anything a doctor would do.”

Call Push Shock

Call 111 Push (CPR) Shock. If an AED is available, the AED app on your phone will show you the nearest location of a defibrillator in the area.