Growth in number of public defibrilators

Blue Rover Football Club president Theo Ursum with players Griffin Hudson, Joshua Hudson and Lincoln Pearson in front of new AED.


You hope you’ll never need it but it’s good to know it’s there.

Visitors to Morland Fox Park in Devon Street, Greerton, now have all-hours access to an automated external defibrillator should they need it, thanks to the Blue Rovers Football Club.

AED’s are used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

They’re designed for use by people who have no prior medical knowledge and use simple voice instructions so that anyone can use them safely and effectively.

Blue Rovers already has a device installed outside its home clubrooms in Pemberton Park but decided to donate one to Morland Fox Park too since its members also train there.

While Blue Rovers organised and paid for the latest AED, and club president Theo Ursum says installation of it was a joint effort.

Setting up the new AED in the required lockbox was co-funded with other park users including the Tauranga Judo Club, and the Tauranga Dog Training Club, as well as Rotary International and members of the Greerton Seniors Club.   

By mounting the AED outside the main building at Morland Fox Park all the clubs will have access to it 24 hours a day - seven days a week, Theo says.

Blue Rovers alone can have several hundred players and supporters on the grounds during big training sessions and games.

“We’ve also got a couple senior teams so it’s about making sure we look after them,” he says.

A video showing how to use an AED can be found on the St John website.

In it, the presenter says a person in cardiac arrest who receives a shock from a defibrillator, prior to an ambulance arriving, has a much higher chance of surviving.

“The most important thing is to keep calm and follow the instructions from the AED,” the St John video says.

The location of more than 12,000 AED’s around New Zealand have been mapped on a website called ‘AED Locations’. A mobile app is also available.

The locations with green icons indicate AED’s that are available 24/7, website founder Gareth Jenkin says.

“We aim to keep the site and app information as up-to-date and accurate as possible,” Gareth says, “but it’s a community effort.

“We can't guarantee that all AEDs will be accessible, in full working order, or still in the same location. ‘AED Locations’ relies on the community, so if you notice out-of-date information, please contact us or add a new location.”

Gareth is currently entering about 50 locations a week into the system.

About five people were treated a day for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in New Zealand last year. Of those, four per cent saw an AED used before the arrival of emergency services, Gareth says.

To watch the video on the St John website, visit:

AED locations can be viewed at:

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter