First aid tips you should take to heart

By James Arbuthnott

Rochester’s engines are warming up for this year’s Show 'N' Shine in October.

If a motor stops purring on the day, there will be lots of people to lend a helping hand.

But can you kick-start a heart?

Every minute matters when someone’s heart stops beating. Knowing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator could save someone’s life.

David Harris and paramedics from Rochester Ambulance Auxiliary will hold displays at the Show 'N' Shine as part of Restart a Heart Day on October 16 to teach vital skills that could save lives.

“We know that if a bystander steps in and begins CPR before we arrive it doubles the person’s chance of survival,” Mr Harris said.

Mr Harris said 16 Victorians suffer cardiac arrest each day, and only one in 10 survive.

“Minutes matter in cardiac arrest, and the sooner a person receives CPR and the application of a defibrillator, the better their chances of survival," he said.

“Bystanders are the critical first link in the chain of survival and can help keep patients alive before our highly trained paramedics arrive.”

Mr Harris said people with first-aid training can help to save lives by downloading the free GoodSAM Responder app, which alerts responders to a nearby suspected cardiac arrest and the location of the nearest AED.

“We recently expanded GoodSAM, so that any adult with first-aid training can be alerted to a nearby cardiac arrest," he said.

“Often these volunteer responders reach a patient before paramedics, and their intervention in those early minutes can help save a life."

GoodSAM responders are never alone. An alert is only sent by the Triple Zero (000) call taker once a health emergency is assessed as safe and appropriate for a GoodSAM responder to assist.

“I encourage anyone who has a first aid qualification to download the GoodSAM App on their smartphone, sign up and support the Rochester community,” Mr Harris said.

He added that AEDs should be registered through Ambulance Victoria so that the location can be made public on an online registry and locations can be sent to GoodSAM responders when an alert is issued.

Rochester Ambulance Auxiliary will hold CPR displays and GoodSAM sign-ups on Sunday, October 27 at the Show 'N' Shine at Rochester Caravan Park.