Cheers to life-saving initiative

St John SA is working with Clubs SA and hoteliers to install 314 public access defibrillators in regional areas of SA. Five have already been installed in Mount Gambier at the Mount Gambier Golf Club, Mount Gambier RSL, Commercial Hotel, Western Tavern and Mac’s Hotel.

St John SA chief executive Mark Groote said the lifesaving initiative was funded by the South Australian Hotels Industry (AHA SA) and SA Licensed Club Industry (Clubs SA) and would see public access defibrillators deployed into hotels and clubs throughout rural South Australia.

Mr Groote said he was thrilled that St John SA was providing defibrillators to clubs and hotels, supporting the objective of increasing the chances of survival of sudden cardiac arrest in regional South Australia.

“Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in Australia. “In most cases the key to survival is prompt defibrillation, which is most effective when carried out within three minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest,” he said. “St John SA aims to get this technology to the Australian public who need it, and in time to make a difference through Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs, making early defibrillation available.”

AHA (SA) General Manager Ian Horne said the role and location of hotels and clubs in regional settings was critical to the partnership decision. “The central position of pubs and clubs in country towns made them the obvious home for these life-saving devices,” he said.

“Particularly when you consider the role of these venues as a gathering place for residents and city visitors to our regions. “Investing in the statewide rollout of the AED’s has a real potential to save lives and is a significant way for our industry to support local communities at a grassroots level. “Pubs and clubs have long been at the heart of country towns, geographically and now literally.”

Mr Groote said sudden cardiac arrest could happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime and when it happened, time was of the essence. “For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, chances of survival decrease by 10%,” he said. “Currently, only one in 10 people survive a cardiac arrest outside of hospital; if a defibrillator is applied within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, survival chances can be as high as 70%.

“Lives can be saved by placing defibrillators in locations where large numbers of Australians gather, which is why St John SA is excited to be teaming up with the South Australian Hotels Industry (AHA|SA) and SA Licensed Clubs Industry (Clubs SA) to bring lifesaving equipment to regional SA.”

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