Westpac NZ is bringing a new innovation to the water that will help keep Kiwi kids safe this summer.
It’s giving away 1,000 Rescue Rashies – innovatively-designed rash vests that unzip to reveal CPR instructions in case kids get into trouble around the water.
New Zealand has one of the highest drowning rates in the OECD and double that of Australia. Whilst CPR can save a life in a drowning situation, many Kiwis aren’t confident in how to perform it.
Westpac Ambassador and para swimming star Sophie Pascoe says the rash vests put CPR instructions where they’re needed most – at potential rescuers’ fingertips.
“The Westpac Rescue Rashie is intended to help parents and caregivers familiarise themselves with CPR, with clear and concise instructions, and to have them immediately on hand if there’s an emergency,” Ms Pascoe says.
“Encouraging safety in and around the water is really important to me, and to tens of thousands of Kiwis flocking to the water over summer.
“Whether they live near the sea, lakes or rivers, Kiwis love getting out and exploring our unique and amazing country, and Westpac is working hard to ensure they’re able to stay safe while doing the things they love.”
New Zealand’s vast network of waterways, high participation in water-based activities and a lack of water safety education contribute to high rates of drowning and hospitalisation.
Westpac has a long-standing partnership with rescue helicopters which have helped keep Kiwi communities safe for nearly 40 years, and knows the critical importance of speed and first aid knowledge in helping save lives.
“Westpac choppers can be on the scene in a matter of minutes, but every minute that goes by without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by 10-15 percent, so every second counts. That’s where Rescue Rashies could make a huge difference,” says Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter Intensive Care Paramedic Casey Drum.
“In the stress of the moment of a rescue, with a helicopter on the way, being able to perform CPR correctly can hugely increase a person’s chances of survival.
Ms Pascoe says the feedback from parents is that the Rashies are a great tool for keeping their kids’ safety front-of-mind.
“They also offer UPF 50+ protection from the sun, which provides families with further peace of mind,” she says.
“The kids think they’re really cool too.”
Westpac Rescue Rashies comes in two sizes – 4 to 5 years old and 6 to 7 years old. For a chance to win one, head to westpac.co.nz/rescuerashie where you can watch a CPR demonstration by Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter Intensive Care Paramedic Casey Drum, and download a handy CPR instruction guide to stick straight on the fridge or pinboard.