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Dennis Bertoldo
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Belmont, Perth,
13
August
2015

St John reaches 1000th defibrillator location

St John Ambulance WA has presented a lifesaving Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to Bunbury Catholic College only weeks after a year 12 student almost died in class.

In April, Wyatt Hancock collapsed at school after his heart stopped, but the quick reactions of school nurse Miranda McKee who performed CPR kept him alive until an ambulance arrived.

Wyatt, 17, was shocked back into a regular rhythm by paramedics using a defibrillator before being flown to Perth for treatment and he was placed in an induced coma for four days. His recovery has been aided by the fitting of a pacemaker.

Inspired by Wyatt’s story, St John chose the Bunbury Catholic College to become the recipient of an AED and become the 1000th Community First Responder (CFR) location.

The CFR program creates a direct link between the triple zero (000) call centre, local communities and organisations.

The program enables bystanders to try and help save the lives of victims of sudden cardiac arrest in the vital minutes before the Paramedics arrive.

The CFR program began in 2011 and has now reached its 1000th location. The program continues to expand.

St John Chief Executive Officer Tony Ahern said the aim of having defibrillators across WA and in places with a high volume of people increases the ability to respond when a medical emergency happens.

“The great CPR that was given to Wyatt by Miranda, the school nurse, was instrumental to his survival.”

“We have been proactive in raising awareness of the importance of defibrillators and we are seeing good interest from the community in general.”

CFR Manager Sally Simmonds said: “We know that the minutes following cardiac arrest are critical to a person’s survival so if we can provide CPR and defibrillation before an ambulance arrives, that person has a better chance at life”

For more information, visit www.stjohnambulance.com.au or call the CFR Team on 9334 1418.

Additional information

  • There are on average 33,000 cardiac arrest events in Australia every year, more than 75 per cent of which occur outside a hospital.
  • Time to defibrillation is the most important factor in survival – every minute that passes decreases the chances of survival by 10 per cent. After 10 minutes, the chances of a person surviving are practically zero.
  • There is no cost to a community or organisation to be a part of the CFR program, which has ties with organisations such as Perth Airport, Perth Zoo, Kings Park and University of WA.
  • There are 1000 CFR locations throughout WA, both in the metro and regional areas.