skip to content

Heathcote township better equipped to save a life

June 13, 2024 | in Community News

The Heathcote community is more prepared to take action in case of a cardiac arrest, with a new publicly accessible automated external defibrillator (AED) being installed at the Heathcote Community House. 

About 20 Victorians suffer a cardiac arrest every day and only one in 10 survive, but when a patient receives CPR and a shock from an AED before paramedics arrive, their chance of survival more than doubles. 

Heathcote’s new AED will be accessible around the clock in case of a medical emergency, located at the front of the Community House (55 Hospital Street, Heathcote).

An Ambulance Community Officer is showcasing the new automated external defibrillator device that is being installed at the Community House in Heathcote.

Heathcote ACO Elizabeth Norie and Heathcote Community House Executive Officer Vicki Forde with the new AED.

Heathcote Ambulance Community Officer (ACO) Elizabeth Norie said the life-saving device is a boost for the town. 

“AEDs are used to attempt to shock the heart back into rhythm following a cardiac arrest,” she said. 

“They are safe and easy to use and will not deliver a shock unless it is necessary. 

“If someone is in cardiac arrest and an AED is available, simply open it and follow the instructions. 

“Every minute matters during a cardiac arrest so each new AED in the town improves access to life-saving care during a medical emergency.” 

Ambulance Victoria (AV) donated the new AED as part of the Heart Safe Communities program in Heathcote, which is an initiative that works to improve the community’s confidence and ability to respond to a cardiac arrest. 

Heart Safe Communities is a year-long, joint initiative between AV and the Heart Foundation. 

“There are 30 Heart Safe Communities across the state and Heathcote is one of 12 towns currently completing the program,” Ms Norie said. 

“It focuses on teaching three simple steps to save a life: Call (call Triple Zero 000), Push (perform CPR) and Shock (use an AED).”

A paramedic is demonstrating how to use the automated external defibrillator device while a member of the Heathcote Community looks on.

Anyone can use an AED – simply open it and follow the instructions.

There are four other 24/7 publicly accessible AEDs in Heathcote, with two located at the Heathcote Police Station, one at the Heathcote Tennis Club and one at the Heathcote Bowls Club. 

Ms Norie said it is important all AEDs are registered with AV, so calltakers can direct bystanders or GoodSAM responders to them in an emergency. 

GoodSAM is a life-saving smartphone app that connects Victorians in cardiac arrest with members of the community who are willing to start CPR in the critical minutes before paramedics arrive. 

“You don’t have to be first-aid qualified or have a medical background to sign up – you just need to be willing and able to do hands-only CPR, be over 18 years of age and have access to a smartphone,” Ms Norie said. 

For more information, visit GoodSAM.