An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) has been installed outside the Healesville ambulance station, thanks to generous donations from the community to the local Men’s Shed and Lions Club.
The device, which is in an alarmed cabinet, is used to shock the heart back into rhythm following a cardiac arrest.
Ambulance Victoria Healesville senior team manager Andrew Turner said the defibrillator was the first in the area to be 24-hour publicly accessible.
“I hope this paves the way for many more in our region,” he said.
“Cardiac arrest happens when a person’s heart suddenly stops beating and it can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
“Minutes matter and the sooner a person receives cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation from an AED, the better their chances of survival.”
Mr Turner said anyone could use an AED, regardless of whether they have received training to do so.
“If someone is in cardiac arrest and an AED is available, simply open it and follow the instructions. They are safe and easy to use, and will not deliver a shock unless it is necessary.”
The Healesville defibrillator has been registered on Ambulance Victoria’s website, which allows Triple Zero (000) call-takers to direct people to the nearest device in a medical emergency.
Mr Turner also urged local residents to register with the GoodSAM responder app.
“GoodSAM connects Victorians in cardiac arrest with people who are nearby and willing to respond in the critical minutes before paramedics arrive.
“It will also guide them to the closest registered defibrillator.”
Mr Turner said you don’t need to have a first aid qualification to join GoodSAM.
“If you know CPR, it’s as simple as signing up to save a life.”
For more information, visit: www.ambulance.vic.gov.au/goodSAM/