Swedes, fodder beet, turnips and brassicas have contributed to saving lives.

About $75,000 was raised from the Rabobank Central Otago Winter Feed Competition and auction in May. Competition convener Paul McCarthy said they donated $25,000 to Dunstan Hospital to buy a new defibrillator.

The balance from this year's funds was divided between the Poolburn and Omakau schools and the Omakau-Earnscleugh Collie Club.

''It is a win for the community and a win for the hospital,'' Mr McCarthy said.


Dunstan Hospital acting chief executive and director of nursing Debi Lawry said the Lifepak20E had recently arrived and been installed on an emergency trolley.

The supply company's representative had been at the hospital on September 25 to provide training and configure the machine so it could ''talk'' to the other equipment.

''It's brand spanking,'' Mr McCarthy said.

The old defibrillator was now being used as a training tool.

''It [the old defibrillator] easily could have been used up to 50 times a year and that is potentially 50 lives saved,'' Ms Lawry said.

She said it was also used to revert cardiac arrythmia and also helped patients stabilise, ready for transport to Dunedin.

''Some people needed assistance to get [their hearts] back to a normal rhythm.

''We are really grateful.


''With the help of the community we can provide the care to keep people safe and here.

''It is great for us and we feel a strong sense of connection in the community.''

The Poolburn and Omakau schools intended to use their share of the money towards general educational requirements and the collie club will put their share towards the new clubrooms they are building.


Competition section winners included: Glen Harrex, of St Bathans (swede dryland); Renee Harrex, of St Bathans, (rape dryland), Cameron Nicolson, of Poolburn (irrigated turnip), Michael Fridd, of Ida Valley, on behalf of Claire and the late John Mulholland (mixed dryland brassica), Mandy Evans, of Poolburn (rape irrigated), and Ralph Milne, of Lauder (mixed brassica irrigated).