HomeCouncilFirst Defib Hero Community Program to launch

First Defib Hero Community Program to launch

Bundaberg Business Breakfast Guy Leach Defib Hero Community Program
Local residents will also be encouraged to download the free Defib Hero app as part of the Defib Hero Community Program. Photo: Heart 180 founder Guy Leech with Mayor Jack Dempsey at the Bundaberg Business Breakfast earlier this year.

The Bundaberg Region will be the first location in Australia to trial the cardiac survival Defib Hero Community Program as Australian ironman legend Guy Leech launches the initiative with Bundaberg Regional Council in Childers this month.

Each year in Australia approximately 25,000 people have a cardiac arrest out of hospital, and it’s estimated as few as 5% of these people survive to leave hospital and go home. 

Individuals who experience a cardiac arrest have a 70 per cent survival rate if a defibrillator is administered within the first three minutes, compared to just 10 per cent survival rate without one.

Survival rates decline by 10 per cent every minute a defib is not applied after that first three minutes.

Local residents will also be encouraged to download the free Defib Hero app as part of the program to not only locate their closest defibrillator but also undertake the free, 20-minute training to understand how to use and administer a defib and CPR in the event they are a bystander of a cardiac emergency.

“After losing my friend Chuckie in 2016 to an unexpected cardiac episode at Manly Beach, I have made it my life’s mission since to ensure a defib is always close by,” Guy said.

“While sudden cardiac arrests are unavoidable, survival rates are significantly higher if a defibrillator can be administered in those first few critical minutes.

“With ambulance wait times generally exceeding 10 minutes – often more in regional areas like Bundaberg – the chance of survival quickly slips away, even if CPR is being administered.”

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the Defib Hero Community Program was a fantastic initiative which would help save lives.

“By ensuring the region’s residents are both aware of their local defib locations and empowered to use one in the instance they witness a cardiac episode, I’m confident we can save lives, and set an example for the rest of the country,” Mayor Dempsey.

“One of the biggest challenges is not only locating a defib in the event of a cardiac episode, but also feeling confident to use one.”

The program will start with a call for residents, schools, businesses and sporting organisations to register their defibrillator, a portable electronic device that restores a normal heartbeat during cardiac emergencies using electric charges, on the newly developed Defib Hero app.

“The fact is, they are very, very simple to use and will only shock a patient in the event it is required. By educating Bundaberg residents on the simple steps of a defib, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to have a huge impact on survival rates,” Guy said.

Following the conclusion of the phase one program, Defib Hero will provide Council with a report to better understand the availability of devices in the area.

Council will support the program by helping to identify where any gaps in defibrillator access may exist and look to support community groups to acquire strategically placed defibrillators to ensure greater coverage and availability of devices in the instance a resident faces a cardiac emergency.

All devices will be registered on Defib Hero, making it easy for the region’s residents to locate the nearest defib in case of emergency.

With the program set to run annually for five years Council supports Defib Hero’s goal to eventually ensure a defibrillator can be found within three minutes of any resident within the area and be easily located via the Defib Hero app on Apple or Android.

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