Victorian Competitors Win Thanks to Government Grant

A high-tech Laerdal training manikin purchased via an Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability grant helped the Victorian State team win the top CPR Trophy at the Australian Pool Lifesaving Championships (APLSC) recently.

Victorian teams won the under 16, under 19, open, and overall section of the CPR competition, sweeping 13 of the possible 18 medals up for grabs.

“Our State and Development teams performed really strongly, flooding the top places with Victorians,” says CPR coach Dr Justine Birchall.

Two years ago, a national review of the CPR competition resulted in measures of CPR quality taking a greater part in the assessment.

“With the addition of this new manikin, both Victorian teams were able to train more consistently and efficiently, which resulted in a strong performance that pushed all of our scores up,” says Justine.

Dr Justine Birchall and Anni Gardnier officiate a competitor using the Laerdel QCPR manikin. Photo: Damian Hofman

The Laerdal Resusci Anne QCPR manikin is fitted with interactive technology that delivers detailed, real-time feedback and summative performance results that guide trainees to deliver CPR more accurately and effectively.

“It was a strong factor in winning. We were previously only able to train on an old manikin with no feedback – and feedback is the key” says Justine.

The new manikins relay information to a sim-pad which analyses information including compression rate, depth, release, hand placement, time spent compressing, and the rate and volume of the breath; which combines to give an overall score in the form of a percentage.

“We were able to see competitors learn things like ‘I’m blowing too hard’, or ‘I’m not pushing down hard enough’ through the feedback the manikin was giving,” says Justine.

It was this improved delivery of CPR that saw all Victorian teams achieve high competition scores and become better equipped first-aid responders.

“Every single one of these lifesavers now performs high-quality CPR. It makes the whole competition so much more valuable,” says Justine. “This would be a great training tool for any pool or lifesaving club to use when training first-responders.”

Victoria’s Open Age gold medal winning team. Photo: Damian Hofman

Laerdal also has Little Anne QCPR mannikins which can give feedback via an app on phone or tablet, and standard training manikins can be upgraded with QCPR chest plates – great additions for SRC/Bronze training. These options are affordable, or could be accessed via grants programs such as ESVS.

The victory saw the Victorian team win another Laerdel Resusci Anne QCPR manikin, which will help train more competitors, lifesavers and lifeguards.

The Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability (ESVS) Grants Program has been established by the Victorian Government to ensure emergency management volunteers can continue to deliver their crucial work to keep Victorians safe.

A summary of all APLS CPR scores can be viewed here, and a full list of all APLSC results cane be found here.

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