Published: Monday, November 20, 2017
RAA member John Holland talks about how wearing a pendant around his neck saved his life.
Just weeks after buying a personal alert system, pensioner John Holland was found by paramedics unconscious and without a pulse on the floor of his Colonel Light Gardens home.
When ambulance officers phoned John’s son David about his father’s condition, he feared the worst.
‘Dad’s heart had stopped, he was technically dead and I pretty much thought he was gone,’ David says. ‘And if we hadn’t got the personal alert system I’m sure he would have died.’
Instead, the 84-year-old former draftsman is looking forward to relaxing in front of the tele and enjoying this summer’s Ashes Test series.
‘I saw an advertisement about these alarms and spent a while thinking about getting one and I’m glad I got off my butt and did so,’ John says. ‘I only got the alarm not more than a month before my heart attack.’
John’s near-death experience happened on a Saturday morning in July this year when severe chest pains prompted him to push the button on the alarm pendant he wears around his neck.
David says he received a call from RAA Secure Services telling him his father had activated his alarm.
‘I immediately called dad on his mobile and he said “I think I’m having a heart attack”,’ David recalls.
David called 000 and was told they’d already heard from RAA and an ambulance was on its way.
‘Luckily we’d also just had a key safe installed near the front door which meant the ambulance officers could use the code (which was provided by RAA) to get the key and get inside the house quickly because the doors were locked,’ David explains.
‘Without the alarm dad wouldn’t have got help in time and it definitely saved his life.’
It’s far from the only emergency where one of these devices has come in handy. In fact, RAA’s senior manager of Secure Services Ben Nottage says paramedics treat an average of 10 members a day after we call the ambos in response to a personal alarm.
Some other cases where these nifty devices have helped out include:
- A lady activated her alarm after seeing a thief stealing her next-door neighbour’s car, resulting in his arrest.
- Firefighters rushed to a retirement village in response to a resident who had set their kitchen on fire when cooking.
- Police rescued a lady after she managed to lock herself in her bathroom during a home invasion and raise the alarm with her pendant.
Individuals who qualify can receive a state government rebate, which covers the cost of the system, and up to 75 per cent of the monitoring fees.