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Outdoor lighting helps paramedics save Heathcote grandfather

March 18, 2024 | in News

Paramedics say a Heathcote man鈥檚 decision to turn the outside lights on and open the front door while waiting for an ambulance made a big difference in helping them locate his home quickly.

Tony Ager, 75, realised something was wrong when he began experiencing bad chest pain late at night in December last year.

鈥淚 wondered what was going on, but it didn鈥檛 bother me that much 鈥 then all of a sudden it started to get worse,鈥 the grandfather explained.

鈥淚 was sitting on the edge of the bed and just hoping it would go away.

鈥淏ut it got worse and worse, so I rang my daughter and said… 鈥榶ou鈥檇 better get the ambulance around here, I think I鈥檓 having a heart attack鈥.鈥

ACO Nathan Rogers and paramedic Jeremy Cavedon having a chat with Tony Ager in the front of the house.

ACO Nathan Rogers (left) and paramedic Jeremy Cavedon (right) said turning on these outdoor lights helped them find Tony鈥檚 property quickly.

AV6K成人网 (AV) paramedic Jeremy Cavedon was first on the scene, alongside Heathcote Ambulance Community Officer (ACO) Nathan Rogers.

Jeremy said they were relieved to be able to spot Tony鈥檚 rural property in the dark, thanks to the outdoor lights.

鈥淭he place was in the middle of nowhere on a dirt track,鈥 Jeremy said.

鈥淏eing able to see the property from the road, especially given the fact that a lot of those driveways can be quite hidden in the dead of night, allowed us to drive straight up.

鈥淚t鈥檚 a reminder of how important it is to make sure property numbers and entrances are visible and well lit, so we don鈥檛 waste time trying to locate the right house.鈥

The AV crew realised Tony was having a heart attack but while they were beginning treating him, and while Nathan was getting something from the ambulance, Tony collapsed in cardiac arrest.

鈥淟uckily, I was able to defibrillate him straight away because we already had the equipment in place,鈥 Jeremy said.

鈥淚 dragged him onto the ground and began CPR, then after another shock from the defib and another round of CPR, he came back.鈥

Jeremy and Nathan were supported by two Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics, and Jeremy said it was a fantastic show of how the different operational roles within AV work together.

鈥淔irstly, the ACOs are invaluable in our communities,鈥 he said.

鈥淚f I鈥檇 been at this by myself, I couldn鈥檛 have done half the stuff that we did before Tony arrested, let alone all the stuff that happened afterwards.

鈥淎nd once the MICA team turned up it also made the job a lot easier 鈥 having the extra level of care and also just the extra hands.鈥

ACOs are First Responders who are trained to provide advanced first aid in rural and remote areas.

ACO Nathan Rogers, paramedic Jeremy Cavedon, and Tony Ager standing in front of an ambulance.

Just a few months later, Tony was able to thank the AV crew that saved his life.

Tony was taken to the Austin Hospital, where he only had to spend three days before being allowed to return home.

He said for the most part, he has fully recovered.

鈥淚鈥檓 a bit short of breath every now and then, and I get tired quickly, but I see a local doctor and a cardiologist and they seem to be happy with my progress,鈥 he said.

鈥淚 just want to thank the paramedics for saving my life.

鈥淚鈥檓 so appreciative of what they do.

鈥淚 don鈥檛 want to fall off the perch yet, I鈥檝e got too much to do.鈥

Heathcote is one of 12 towns across Victoria currently completing the Heart Safe Community program 鈥 a joint initiative between AV and the Heart Foundation that equips locals with skills to take life-saving action when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

鈥淭he program is about boosting confidence in performing CPR and using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) 鈥 because when a cardiac arrest patient receives CPR and a shock from an AED before paramedics arrive, their chance of survival more than doubles,鈥 Jeremy said.

For further information on the program and how locations are selected, visit .