A Papamoa couple have donated five new defibrillators to their community in the hope the lifesaving devices can one day stop a preventable tragedy.
David and Di Holland witnessed a drowning in front of their house on Papamoa Beach Rd years ago and said it would have been prevented with an on-site or nearby defibrillator.
"With the increase in population, especially the elderly and beachgoers, we contacted St John with the view of donating to fill in the gaps," David Holland said.
"We've been associated with Papamoa for 40 years and been residents in west Papamoa for 30 years and now we wish to give something back to the local west Papamoa community."
The five new defibrillators would be located at Q Building (corner of Coast Boulevard and Gloucester Rd), at Diamond Sands Village (644 Grenada St), at the foredune on the public access way beside Pacific Shores Village (early Papamoa Beach Rd), and on two Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club patrol vehicles.
The Hollands said they identified a lack of defibrillators in their immediate area, which they had seen grow from farm paddocks to near full capacity over the years.
"One of the motivations here was the fact that we've got a large stretch of beach which is being more heavily populated, plus the elderly, plus the families," David Holland said.
He said St John Ambulance had been fantastic supporters and would be holding public defibrillator and CPR courses as part of the package.
St John would also be responsible for the maintenance of the devices.
"We challenge others to donate likewise in their catchments, as every second counts," Holland said.
The cost of a single St John automatic external defibrillator (AED), including a servicing/maintenance package, ranges between $3000 and $3500, including GST.
Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club chairman Andrew Hitchfield said the club was "over the moon" about the donations.
"Time is everything in those events so having those defibrillators close by in any event is absolutely critical."
He said the Hollands' donation came as a complete surprise and added two new defibrillators to the one the club already had.
"In essence having the three club defibrillators allows us to have the tower and the flags covered as well as both beach vehicles when they're out and about, so that we don't waste time having to rush back to the club or radio someone at the club."
Julie Taverner, St John's regional community programmes manager, said there were never enough defibrillators in the community and she thanked the Hollands for their contribution.
"It was certainly wonderful to get David and Di's call and just the fact that they wanted to do something locally."
Taverner said the training St John would be providing as part of the package was around building community capability and resilience.