Anyone can save a life


Anyone can save a life

LIFE SAVERS: Paramedic Kerry Senior, Amy Skelton of Heart Safe and Inverloch Rotarian Ian Turnbull with the defibrillator now available 24/7 outside at the Inverloch Community Hub.

THE average Joe can be the difference between a grandmother seeing her grandchildren again – or not.

Everyone is able to save a life was the message delivered in Leongatha and Inverloch last week.

Community ambulance officer Steve Burns gave a resuscitation day at the Leongatha RSL for Restart a Heart Day last Wednesday, and an event was held at Inverloch to highlight that three public defibrillators are now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

They are on the outside of the Inverloch Community Hub (Reilly Street entrance), Warrawee Seniors Club and the men’s shed at the Inverloch Recreation Reserve.

A community event was held at the hub to raise awareness of the defibrillators and how easy they are to use.

Even if a cardiac arrest is occurring in a home, people can remove the defibrillator from the public venues and take the machine to the patient to use.

The machine will even give instructions in how to use it.

“All you have to do is follow the steps,” Inverloch’s Heart Safe community coordinator Amy Skelton said.

Paramedics gave demonstrations of how responders should call 000, apply CPR and use the defibrillator to help someone experiencing a cardiac arrest.

If the patient has a pulse, the defibrillator will not work.

In March this year, the Heart Foundation and Ambulance Victoria launched Inverloch’s Heart Safe Community program to give locals the skills and confidence to act fast if they witnessed a cardiac arrest. 

Ms Skelton said the program had also sought to get more automated external defibrillators (AEDs) registered and accessible 24/7.

“As summer approaches, this busy tourist town is well-equipped to help in an emergency when a cardiac arrest strikes,” she said.

“Too often, defibrillators are locked away out of business hours.”

Heart Foundation’s Roni Beauchamp said when someone experiences a cardiac arrest, seconds count.

“Without an urgent call to Triple Zero (000), commencing chest compressions and using a defibrillator, the chances of survival are very low,” she said.

Statistics have shown Gippsland has the state’s highest incidence for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. 

In 2017-18, Victorians in cardiac arrest who received bystander CPR tripled their chance of being discharged alive from hospital compared to those who did not receive bystander help.

Inverloch was the second community to sign up to the Heart Safe Community program after a successful pilot in the Goulburn Valley town of Tatura.

“Inverloch was chosen because it was a known fire hazard town, it does not have an ambulance depot, the nearest hospital is a quarter of an hour away and the demographic is that we have lots of little kids and lots of retirees,” Inverloch Rotary Club’s Ian Turnbull said.

The club paid for the defibrillator at the hub and it was available to help resuscitate a lady at the jazz festival this year.

There are 19 registered defibrillators in Inverloch.

Mr Burns was also keen to highlight the importance of people having an Emergency Medical Information book – an essential resource for both patients and first responders.


How to help someone experiencing a cardiac arrest.

  1. Call Triple Zero. The call taker will talk you through CPR and using a defibrillator.
  2. Push on the chest between the nipples. Push hard, push fast.
  3. If available, turn on the defibrillator and follow the instructions.

Check out The Star’s Facebook page for a video.

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Posted by on Oct 22 2019. Filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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