A GROUP of first responders has thanked a Koroit cycling team for its ongoing donations by purchasing a defibrillator for the town.
A cycling group from Koroit's Bega factory rode in the Murray to Moyne fundraiser in April to raise money for local community emergency response teams in Hawkesdale, Nullawarre and Port Campbell.
That generosity has now returned to Koroit with the Hawkesdale Community Emergency Response Team donating a defibrillator worth $2500 to the town, despite the group not actually servicing the area.
First responder Ros Stewart said the response team had recently purchased two defibrillators, one stationed last year at Hawkesdale's post office and another now secured to an outdoor wall at Koroit's Murray Goulburn Trading store.
"Although we don't service Koroit, it's a way of giving back for the Koroit support we've had," Mrs Stewart said.
"It is a heartfelt thanks to the bike riders, who have been fantastic with their support for our program. Without their commitment we wouldn't be able to give back to the community.
"It's a good location because it is fairly well lit up after hours and the area is secure."
The factory's cycling team, made up of employees and Koroit residents, formed about a decade ago following the death of some factory employees and has donated to health causes ever since.
Michael Meade, a member of the cycling team, said about 15 cyclists took on the 500-kilometre relay ride and raised about $5000 each year.
"It's great to know we have something here that people can run and grab and save a life," Mr Meade said.
"It's a peace of mind."
Meanwhile, Mrs Stewart said Hawkesdale was yet to use its new defibrillator, which was the fourth in the town but the most publicly available.
"Because we are volunteers sometimes there are incidents we are unable to respond to, and there is a defibrillator at the footy club, the swimming pool and the school, but we wanted to put in something with 24-hour access at the post office," she said.
"We all know that early access to medical treatment can save lives. And if we can save one life we are doing alright, they will have done their job and paid for themselves."
Mrs Stewart said the first responder group would now continue fundraising to buy a defibrillator for Woolsthorpe, an area they covered, and another for Macarthur in the next 18 months.
The Hawkesdale Community Emergency Response Team formed in 2005, and has 11 volunteers. The group typically responds to more than 50 call-outs a year.
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