Life-saving defibrillators a public win
St John Ambulance and Australia Post installed 11 new public access defibrillators across the South West last week in an effort to build community resilience.
Bunbury, Boyanup, Burekup, Busselton, Capel, Cowaramup, Donnybrook, Dunsborough Picton and Vasse all received devices after St John statistics showed people defibrillated within four minutes of a cardiac arrest had a 70 per cent better chance of survival.
St John first responder manager Sally Simmonds said the devices would be available 24 hours a day in a cabinet at the area’s post office.
“To get the code to open the cabinet, you have to call 000 and we have the code logged in our State operations centre,” she said.
“The 000 operator will stay on the phone and talk the caller through the steps, but the defibrillators have excellent functionality and are really easy to use; you just follow instructions.”
More than 3000 first responder defibrillators have been installed and registered Statewide, 461 of those in 24-hour accessible cabinets.
Seven years ago there were just 87 locations, five of which were located regionally.
“It’s very important to have defibrillators in places like this (Burekup)...there is no ambulance service here so it will probably take someone from our Australind sub-centre to come out which could take 20 to 30 minutes,” St John regional training and services coordinator Annette Mateljan said.
As a follow-up to the roll-out, St John Ambulance will conduct free public information and training sessions over the coming months for community members.
Burekup post office assistant manager Melissa Johns said the defibrillators were a great idea and well thought out.
“We have a lot of older community members and quite a bit of sport here at times over summer... it’s accessible to everyone,” she said.
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