Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time.
This is the message of the Heart Safe Community Initiative, a partnership between the Heart Foundation and Ambulance Victoria, which is currently being piloted in Tatura.
The initiative aims to raise awareness of the importance of providing early CPR and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Ambulance Victoria community educator Scott Angove said a number of kindergartens, community groups, schools and sporting clubs had participated in the initiative so far.
Employees from Goulburn-Murray Water and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources also received the training in recent weeks.
‘‘Employees had the opportunity the build their confidence to respond to someone having a cardiac arrest,’’ he said.
‘‘They had the opportunity to practise their CPA skills with the St John Ambulance CPR Lab, which gives real-time feedback on their chest compression performance.’’
Participants also had the opportunity to see how an AED works and learn how important it is to ensure AEDs are registered and accessible.
In the past year, 6034 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurred within Victoria, with only 10 per cent of those people surviving.
Mr Angove said given the statistics, the initiative was an important one for local groups to be involved in.
‘‘There is a strong chance that many of us will witness a cardiac arrest at some point in our lives,’’ he said.
‘‘When a bystander gives CPR and uses an AED or defibrillator, within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, a person is significantly more likely to survive.’’
If any other sporting clubs, businesses or community groups would like further information or would like to be involved, email [email protected]
- Liz Mellino