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Girgarre welcomes new 24/7 defibrillator

February 7, 2024 | in News

Girgarre locals are now better equipped in an emergency following the recent installation of a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) which is accessible 24/7 for the community.

Ambulance Victoria (AV) donated the life-saving device to the Girgarre township following last year’s success of the Heart Safe Community Program in nearby Stanhope.

The Heart Safe Community initiative aims to improve survival rates for people suffering cardiac arrest across Victoria by teaching community members how to perform CPR and use an AED when others need it most. This is a joint initiative between Ambulance Victoria and the Heart Foundation.

A paramedic holding an AED stands outside an ambulance branch with two committee members

Paramedic Anita Stirling presents Moira and Dennis from the Girgarre Facilities Committee with Girgarre’s new AED

AV Paramedic and Stanhope Heart Safe Community Coordinator Anita Stirling presented the 24/7 AED to the town’s hardworking volunteers, known as the Girgarre Facilities Committee.

“We know that performing CPR and using an AED greatly improves someone’s chance of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest. We’re excited that this defibrillator will now be accessible to the Girgarre community 24/7 in case it is ever needed,” she said.

“We had a really successful Heart Safe Communities program run in the area last year.”

More than 150 people were trained in life-saving CPR as part of the Heart Safe Community program in Stanhope and surrounds.

Girgarre was identified as a suitable location for a 24/7 accessible AED, with Stanhope welcoming five public AEDs during the 12-month program, three of which are available 24/7.

Girgarre Memorial Hall President Dennis Hammond collected the AED recently on behalf of the committee and helped install it on the external wall of the public toilets behind the hall on Morgan Crescent.

“It will be handy to have it there and the fact that it’s available 24/7 is great for the community,” Mr Hammond said.

“I know that some people can fear doing CPR, but this machine talks you through it. In an emergency, you just need to call an ambulance (000), don’t panic and the defibrillator will tell you what to do.

“Hopefully we never have to use it, but if we do, it’s there.”

AV Loddon Mallee Director Matt McCrohan said the donation would help people to feel confident to act in someone’s time of need.

“Currently about 20 Victorians suffer a cardiac arrest each day and only one in 10 survive,” he said.

“Bystander CPR and use of an AED increases a patient’s chance of survival by more than 70 per cent.

“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 AED.”

AV is encouraging community groups in Girgarre to attend Call, Push, Shock sessions to learn how to use their new 24/7 AED in an emergency.

Community groups interested in arranging a small group session can email their request to: