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Volunteer’s dedication to saving lives earns nomination

DRIVING FORCE: Glenreagh Heartstart founder Geoffrey Hicks has been nominated for the Australia Day Citizen of the Year award for his involvement with the organisation that provides medical assistance to people in the rural area.
DRIVING FORCE: Glenreagh Heartstart founder Geoffrey Hicks has been nominated for the Australia Day Citizen of the Year award for his involvement with the organisation that provides medical assistance to people in the rural area.

HIS inspiring determination to care for and help save lives has led to Geoff Hicks receiving a nomination for Citizen of the Year.

Mr Hicks founded Glenreagh Heartstart in 2001 as a community response service.

A remarkable group of volunteers has been trained to offer first aid and treatment to injured or unwell people as part of the service as they wait for an ambulance to arrive.

As former ambulance officer, Mr Hicks said he felt inspired to establish Glenreagh Heartstart to offer additional care and support to local people who were sick or had been injured.

"I know ambulances can become busy very quickly," Mr Hicks said.

"Sometimes a person who needs urgent medical attention because they may have had a heart attack might be waiting a long time for an ambulance to arrive from a nearby town or city.

"I knew another emergency response service could offer additional care because the minutes spent waiting for an ambulance can mean the difference between life and death.

"Glenreagh Heartstart are equipped with numerous medications and oxygen so we can look after the patient until the ambulance arrives," he said.

Mr Hicks, who is also the president of Glenreagh Heartstart, said the community response team had saved many lives since 2001.

Describing his nomination for Citizen of the Year as "something completely unexpected", Mr Hicks said the success and dedication of Glenreagh Heartstart was a team effort.

He credits the wonderful group of volunteers who selflessly donate their time to help save lives and the positive way in which the community of Glenreagh has embraced the service as the driving force behind Glenreagh Heartstart.

"I think they should all be nominated too," he said.

Mr Hicks also credits Hollywood actor and nearby Nana Glen resident Russell Crowe for his assistance in setting up Glenreagh Heartstart.

"I wrote to him and said the community needed some help to make the service available.

"He wrote back, asked to meet with me, we had a chat and he told me he would help set up Glenreagh Heartstart.

"He has done a hell of a lot for the community and for the service.

"He deserves a nomination too."

Mr Hicks was nominated by Kelly Green, wife of Glenreagh Heartstart volunteer Steven Green.

Mr Hicks thanked Mrs Green for the Citizen of the Year nomination and the community of Glenreagh for their generosity in the establishment of Glenreagh Heartstart.

Topics:  citizen of the year, geoff hicks, glenreagh heartstart, volunteering


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