Saving lives one heart at a time!  image

17 May 2017

A community cardiac program is arresting the odds and saving lives one heart at a time.

Albany Heart Safe was initiated in 2010 and over the past seven years has proven to be a valuable tool in improving survival prospects of people suffering heart attacks by enabling timely access to defibrillation (AED).

Albany City Councillor Ray Hammond founded the successful project which has resulted in more than 34 defibrillators being located throughout the city and said the project was now focussed on getting more AED units into local worklplaces.

“Businesses and community groups can purchase a Heart Safe Package from the City for their own safety or to donate to a community group, and there is a current offer that gives a free pack to a community group for every third device purchased,” Cr Hammond said.

“The package includes the AED device and awareness training provided by St John’s Ambulance who have been very supportive of the program since its inception.”

Each year in Australia about 30,000 people collapse from sudden cardiac arrest and the survival rate is an alarmingly low 10 per cent, with a whopping 95 per cent of victims dying before reaching hospital.

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said he hoped the Albany program could continue the success enjoyed so far.

“If you have a heart attack your chances of survival reduce significantly with each minute that passes, so having an AED close by can literally be the difference between life and death,” Mayor Wellington said.

“The business and community support for this program has been amazing so far and I encourage others to jump on board and help us save more lives.”

Currently there are two defibrillator models available to purchase at community rates with additional training and support from St John Ambulance and the City of Albany. Any group or business wishing to purchase an AED through the Heart Safe program should contact Senior Community Development Officer Tammy Flett on 6820 3023.

The City of Albany acknowledges the ongoing support of program partners The Great Southern Weekender, Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and St John Ambulance.