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Frankston father thanks paramedics, colleagues and firefighters

September 10, 2019 | in Community News

A Coles employee who suffered a cardiac arrest at work has thanked his colleagues, the paramedics and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) for saving his life.

Ricki Avery was at work on July 18 when he suddenly felt unwell and collapsed at Coles Headquarters.

First on scene were Ricki’s colleagues who initiated effective Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) before the nearby Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was applied.

An AED is used to analyse a person’s heart rhythm and if required, it can shock a person’s heart back into a functioning rhythm.

Ambulance Victoria’s Community Capability and Response Coordinator Danielle Saxton said the bystanders’ quick thinking, effective CPR and using the AED, all contributed to a positive outcome.

“We really commend the bystanders who quickly recognised that CPR needed to be done and immediately started effective chest compressions,” Danielle said.

“Pre-hospital care in Victoria is world class, but it all starts when a bystander steps in and starts compressions. Once someone starts CPR, the chances of survival for a cardiac arrest doubles,” she said.

Danielle said that early CPR and defibrillation are critical steps that help save the lives of people in sudden cardiac arrest.

“Anyone can save a life in three simple steps.  Call, Push, Shock: Call Triple Zero (000), Push Hard, Push Fast on the middle of the chest, Shock using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED),” she said.

“The bystanders on that day certainly exemplified these steps, which no doubt contributed towards Ricki’s survival.”

Danielle had recently worked alongside Coles to ensure all of their defibrillators around the state were registered with Ambulance Victoria.

Information about the location of all registered publicly accessible AEDs is made available through an online registry, helping build community awareness and understanding on where local AEDs can be found.

“By also registering the location of your defibrillator, a Triple Zero (000) call-taker will be able to advise the caller as to the exact location of device if it is required in a cardiac arrest case,” Danielle said.

“Your AED could be the one that saves a life.”

AED owners can register their devices with Ambulance Victoria today at

Ricki has since returned to work and is looking forward to returning to his spin classes.