Cricket deaths prompt calls for defibrilators

14th November 2019

Source: Newcastle News | By: Amy Ziniak | Posted: November 14, 2019


There’s calls for all regional sportsgrounds to have defibrillators, following the death of two men playing in two separate cricket matches in Newcastle over the weekend.

Rod Tinworth and Simon Marks collapsed while batting and were unable to be revived, in-front of horrified teammates, friends and family.

The tragedies have again prompted calls to see all local sporting grounds equip with the life-saving equipment, which can deliver an electric shock to a person experiencing cardiac arrhythmias.

Karl Zalewski, a teammate of Mr Marks, who was playing for Dora Creek Workers Cricket Club when he collapsed, said having a defibrillator on hand would go to saving a number of lives.

“A defibrillator near buy would have raised his chances to 75 per cent,” Mr Zalewski said.

“Ambulance officers say that men over 40 years of age have a three percent chance of surviving if not De-fibed in the first three to five minutes.

“These men were all going to play a sport they have loved all their lives. This is definitely the last thing you’d expect.

“There isn’t a price you can put on a life especially a loved one.

“I believe we should set the standard in your region for recreational sports events to be a safe place for everyone and to make it compulsory for sports field to have a defibrillator. “

Social media was abuzz with people agreeing it should be a necessity.

“I’m sure these days that defibrillators are reasonably priced, but what price do you put on a life,” one Facebook user said.

“There is plenty of room in the large cricket kit bag for a defib.”

Another Facebook user posted, “For the most part it would be expensive for most small clubs to buy, that’s why the association should step in.”

The City of Newcastle has offered its condolences to family and friends of the two men who died and said all sporting clubs who use council facilities, are responsible for the provision of first aid.

“We wrote to all local sporting associations earlier this year, reminding them of this responsibility as well as that defibrillator grants are available through the NSW Government,” the spokesperson said.

“City of Newcastle manages 250 parks and 124 sporting fields that are largely unattended during the week.

“We do however keep defibrillators handy at all times at our beaches and inland pools, where professionally trained lifeguards provide first aid services.”

Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp was deeply saddened by the news over the weekend and said every minute was crucial.

“It was terrible to hear the news. My father died from a heart attack at 58, so I know just how important every minute is when someone is in cardiac arrest,” he said.

“While the rollout of defibrillators through the Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program has been much appreciated, it does not go far enough.

“$4 million over four years for this program is a drop in the ocean, and the applicants are also required to make a contribution.

“Just last month the Government announced a $1.2 billion surplus, so they’ve got plenty of cash to supplement this fund and get more defibrillators installed in public ovals.”

Independent Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper has also been trying to get them rolled out to all local sporting fields for some time.

He’s sent letters out to all local clubs to make them aware of the grants program on offer and has encouraged them to apply.

With a grants assessment date coming up on November 25, he’s urging local clubs to get their application in now.

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