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Pyalong paramedic named Citizen of the Year

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By Colin MacGillivray

Pyalong paramedic Brian Moffatt credited a strong sense of community and a desire to help others after he was last week named Mitchell Shire Council’s Citizen of the Year at an Australia Day ceremony in Seymour.

Mr Moffatt received the award after coming to the aid of his neighbour Lloyd Robinson, who collapsed and went into cardiac arrest while working on his property in 2021.

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Mr Moffatt responded through Ambulance Victoria’s GoodSAM app, providing life-saving first-aid while instructing bystanders to use his phone to alert CFA members that he required a defibrillator from the local fire station.

He used the defibrillator to restart Mr Robinson’s heart, which had stopped.

Mr Moffatt performed a welfare check on Mr Robinson’s partner Deb the following day and later coordinated fundraising efforts to purchase and install another defibrillator in town that could be easily accessed by the public.

Mr Moffatt said he was surprised to be named Mitchell Shire’s Citizen of the Year.

“I’m very humbled to be here when I think about the wonderful things that happen in our communities and the people who are involved,” he said.

“There are probably many people who are more deserving of the award than me.”

Mr Moffatt, who has worked as a paramedic for 18 years including 13 in rural Victoria, said he had always had a desire to help others where possible.

“If you’ve got the ability to help people out when they’re having a bad day – sometimes the worst day of their lives – then I think that’s a noble thing to do, and something that I thoroughly enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction out of,” he said.

“I think myself, [Lloyd] and his partner Deb have a permanent bond now. If I happen to pass him down the street or in the shops, it puts a smile on my face every time.”

Mr Moffatt said he was ‘very fortunate’ to be able to work as a paramedic.

“I was brought up in a family where helping others was a strong focus and I’d like to hope that we do the same with our family,” he said.

“Behind every first responder is a family that lives at home. My kids have grown up knowing that sometimes I just have to go if my pager goes off.

“The unsung hero of a first responder is their partner. I’m very lucky [my wife] has been behind me and supported me every step of the way.”

Several of Mr Moffatt’s Ambulance Victoria colleagues attended the Seymour ceremony where he was presented with his award.

He said it was emblematic of the caring nature of paramedics.

“It was really nice [that they turned up]. That was also unexpected, but it was good to have them around,” he said.

“I was very humbled to receive the award. It’s not something I strive for, but it was certainly appreciated.”

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