St John seeks more defibrillation points

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury St John Ambulance patient transport officers Graham Hunt and Gay Paterson show off an automated external defibrillator.
Camera IconBunbury St John Ambulance patient transport officers Graham Hunt and Gay Paterson show off an automated external defibrillator. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

South West community groups, sporting clubs and businesses are being urged to play their part in efforts to provide life-saving equipment at more locations.

St John WA is embarking on a bold new mission to register 5000 Community First Responder locations across the State by Christmas.

The CFR program aims to get defibrillators to cardiac arrest victims in the vital moments before an ambulance arrives, dramatically increasing a person’s chance of survival.

At the moment there are 3700 registered locations, including more than 110 in the Bunbury, Eaton and Australind areas.

“In the South West we’re fortunate to have many CFR locations, however, we’re encouraging more community groups, sporting clubs and businesses to come on board as we close in on our target of 5000 locations,” St John CFR manager Sally Simmonds said.

“The CFR program creates a vital link between St John, local businesses and community groups which makes early de-fibrillation possible.

“A cardiac arrest can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or health status.

“More than 33,000 Australians die from the condition each year, and the single biggest factor in improving survival rates is the time taken to administer early CPR and defibrillation.

“It’s our mission to make defibrillators as commonly thought of as fire extinguishers and smoke alarms — to make this happen, we need the community’s help.”

Each location has its details registered with St John and when an emergency call is received, the operator is able to direct the caller to a nearby de-fibrillator while an ambulance is enroute.

The program is linked with St John’s First Responder smartphone app, which shows the location of all CFR sites and alerts registered first aiders in the vicinity of an unfolding public emergency.

The app also allows people to dial triple zero and provides GPS coordinates to help paramedics easily locate the patient.

To register as a CFR location call (08) 9334 1428.

“The response to the CFR program has been nothing short of amazing and we’re already seeing the benefits of this collaborative approach translate to improved outcomes,” Ms Simmonds said.

“If someone has received quality bystander CPR and defibrillation before paramedics arrive, it dramatically increases the likelihood of us getting them to hospital alive.”

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