Ambulance Victoria searches for 15,000 ‘hidden’ defibrillators

Ambulance Victoria is urging local clubs, schools and other organisations to register their defibrillator machines. It’s quick and it’s easy and it will help save lives. Read how Ambulance Victoria is searching for 15,000 “hidden” defibrillators in Victoria.

VICTORIANS could help save a life at the click of a button under a new campaign from Ambulance Victoria.

Up to 15,000 defibrillators are believed to be “hidden” in private buildings across the state, but authorities had no way to track them, until now. Homeowners, businesses and schools are being urged to register their defibrillators online to create a map of the state’s hidden devices. New smartphone technology will give the public and emergency services access to the map.

Heart attack patients are far more likely to live if a defibrillator is used in the minutes following cardiac arrest. Heart attack patients have a 62 per cent greater chance of survival if a defibrillator is used before an ambulance arrives.

Ambulance Victoria chief executive Associate Professor Tony Walker said the campaign would save lives.

“In locations like corporate offices, gyms and bowls clubs across the state, for every lifesaving defibrillator in the community we know about, there are four we don’t,” he said.

“Imagine what the map of Victoria might look like if every defibrillator in the area was registered and could be connected with someone in a life-threatening situation — your defibrillator could be the one that saves a life.”

Angelo from Canberra

Several years ago, Angelo from Canberra saw a man collapse while he was out walking with a friend. Quickly realising something was wrong; he alerted staff at a nearby club who called an ambulance. The man died and Angelo believes the outcome could’ve been different if CPR had been administered and a defibrillator was available.

It made him wonder about the availability of defibrillators across the city.

He reached out to find out more, asking:

“How is the location advertised? Are licensed clubs, hotels, cinemas and other venues of high patronage mandated to carry a defibrillator?”

Tracking down the exact location of some of the city’s defibrillators was tricky – here’s what he found out:

Finding defibrillators

  • It’s difficult to determine the exact number and location of AEDs as registering them is optional.
  • The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are looking at building a map that captures all AEDs, regardless of where they’re bought.
  • Finding a defibrillator in an emergency is easier if you know what to look for. Most of the time they will be in places where people can see them and where people gather, such as swimming pools, food courts, and staffed locations such as a concierge or security desk.
  • There is no mandatory legislation requiring workplaces or venues to have an AED. What is required is first aid equipment, and someone who is trained to administer it. In addition to this, the Work Health and Safety (First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice) 2015 advises that an AED is useful but leaves it up to business owners to decide whether to purchase and install one.

A pledge

The Canberra Liberals believe there should be more publicly available defibrillators, and pledged to fund 24 new AEDs as part of their 2016 election campaign. Alistair Coe, ACT Opposition Leader, says the proposal still stands.

“We think there is a need for an information campaign to let people know that the defibrillators are accessible, and that there should be more of them around town,” he said. “24 [new defibrillators] should just be the beginning, and I hope that the government takes it on board and rolls out many more,” he said.

While Angelo was appreciative of the answers that were found, he’s still hoping that more can be done. “Someone’s got to be accountable… for what is available for a life or death situation,” he said.

Who asked the question?

Angelo has lived in Canberra since 1964 and thinks the city is still one the nation’s best kept secrets, with its city and county lifestyle. He enjoys walking his kelpie and attending sheepdog training classes in Bungendore.

Ambulance response times improve across the Geelong region

AMBULANCE response times have been slashed across the Geelong, Queenscliffe and Surf Coast municipalities, new performance data has revealed. Ambulance Victoria first response performance data for the April 1 to June 30 shows paramedics are responding to code one emergencies faster than ever.

Of 3110 code one responses in the City of Greater Geelong during the quarter, 82.2 per cent were completed in less than 15 minutes, with an average response time of 11 minutes 36 seconds. That result was one minute and 8 seconds faster than the July 1 2016 to September 2016 average, when 76.6 per cent of respondents arrived in less than 15 minutes.

(Nicholas Payne, Geelong Advertiser – August 1, 2017 9:13am)

This is good news for people who may suffer from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, because when a Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs and it is not treated in minutes, it usually causes death.

The data will tell you that of the 30,000 out-of-hospital SCAs that happen each year, 85% of victims die. It doesn’t discriminate – it’s not your age, it’s not your fitness level, and it’s not your background. It can happen to anyone and it happens suddenly – often without warning.

It’s a topic we don’t want to talk about – but we should because it can happen at any time. The good news is Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be arrested and the best chance of survival is to follow the chain of survival:

  • Recognise that the victim is suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest
  • Call 000 immediately
  • Perform CPR
  • Apply a defibrillator as soon as practical
  • Paramedics provide advanced medical care on arrival at the scene
  • Transport patient to hospital

Not all AED units are the same

Automatic External Defibrillators like the ones you can purchase in our online store are small computerised devices that analyse your heart rhythms to provide a shock automatically. They only activate when necessary, eliminating the risk of a user error. They can be used anywhere by anyone to administer a life-saving shock with audio and visual prompts to guide first responders through the necessary steps.

As a not for profit, we have done the research for you seeking out the best two defibrillator units on the market, designed to give you the best chance of success.

The Powerheart G5 AED is easy to use, reliable and technologically advanced, giving everyone the confidence to respond in an emergency. The 8 year warranty includes replacement pads and batteries with a 7 year service and replacement program FREE of CHARGE! We replace the pads and batteries for you in that time – not you.

The ZOLL unit features a unique CPR feedback tool that monitors CPR quality, as well as audio and visual prompts to help you rescue and resuscitate. The 7 year warranty covers both hardware and software.

  • Our units are “rescue ready” all the time as the AED’s automatically self-test daily, weekly and monthly – its ready at any time to save a life!
  • With our units, their advanced technology does not require an ongoing maintenance program – we check in yearly to make sure contact details are correct; if there are other training or first aid needs we can support them, but the defibrillator purchase is a one off cost;
  • The devices ensure defibrillation occurs only when needed and tapers the shock to the size of the patient. No push button;
  • When in use the AED units are a simple, safe and easy to operate with loud clear voice prompts;
  • If the unit is used, it stays at the location in the case of another emergency and if advised we send immediately the replacement pads. Therefore, being always rescue ready and;
  • Our packages include face-to-face training to ensure anyone knows how to use your new life-saving tool.

Protect your team mates, colleagues, friends, and loved ones with these industry leading Automatic External Defibrillators!

Speak to the team at Defib For Life today on 1300 880 309. We’re here to help!

Shock Verdict

The cast of the hit TV show Rake has joined a campaign to promote CPR, with a short film which aims to teach everyday Australians how to help someone who is having a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

The film is the brainchild of Royal Hobart Hospital chief cardiologist Dr Paul MacIntyre who couldn’t find anything showing hands-only CPR and how to use an AED alongside Australian emergency services details.

“Having untrained bystanders able to provide first aid is vital because people in cardiac arrest can die so quickly, Dr MacIntyre said.
“If you give no CPR, for every minute that the patient doesn’t receive CPR there’s a 10 per cent reduction in survival. So in 10 minutes they’re dead.”
“Any attempt at resuscitation is better than no attempt, and that’s what potentially saves lives.”

Having the confidence to use an AED where there’s one available is also critical. “Anyone can use an AED, [the machine] talks you through it,” Dr MacIntyre said.

Defibrillators are increasingly installed in public places, such as schools, sports clubs, shopping centres and public libraries.
Some states, such as South Australia, now have a public register of defibrillators to help you find the nearest one to you.

Active Club Program Grant – Round Two Open Now

Thanks to the sporting clubs that have been in touch with Defib For Life, to enquire if we know how to find access to Government Grants.

Well in fact we do!

Defib For Life have done some homework; we have met with the relevant Government Departments, and this has allowed us to provide you with information on the Active Club Program Grant which is now open in South Australia.

What funding is available?

Eligible organisations can apply for up to $5000 for costs associated with conducting programs to develop or improve the service the Club provides, and/or the cost of consumable equipment, uniforms or ground maintenance equipment. This equipment can include medical / first aid equipment such as an Automatic External Defibrillator, and training.

Guidelines and submitting an application

All applications must be submitted via the SmartyGrants website by 12pm on 11 April 2018. Applications must adhere to the Program and Equipment Guidelines.

The following dates apply to this funding round:

  • Program opens 7 February 2018
  • Applications close 11 April 2018 by 12pm
  • Applicants notified after 17 July 2018
  • Agreements finalised August 2018

Get a committee together; get a working group together….get on to it early!

If you would like any specific information for your grant application, Defib For Life would be only too happy to support you. You can reach us on 1300 880 309.

Good luck and let us know how you go.

Don’t wait ‘til it’s too late.


Share your stories

Defib for Life started as a Not for Profit movement in 2010 focusing on encouraging sporting clubs to install Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs). Now in 2018 we encourage not only sporting clubs but also workplaces, schools and public spaces to install these lifesaving machines.

Defib For Life know that AEDs work and we have the pleasure of getting to hear the incredible stories of people that have been saved with them.

In 2017 we celebrated the news of 18 lives that were saved with the use of an AED! We will be continually adding stories of AED saves to our website, if you have a personal story please send it to as we would love to hear it.

You can also keep up to date with all things Defib For Life via our Facebook page.

Let’s make 2018 a great year for lives being saved with the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator.

Bourke Street Tragedy

The 20th January marked the first anniversary of the Bourke Street tragedy. A sad day for so many people, with so many lives lost and others changed forever.

“For a Friday evening on Bourke Street it was quiet, except for the haunting sound of defibrillators beeping. The life-saving machines had been left sitting on the footpath after they were brought out from offices by city workers asked to help save the victims.”

If something good can be taken from these tragic circumstances it is that the general public were so willing to step in and help, and that they were able to do so with the assistance of the defibrillators located in their workplaces.

This is a timely reminder to check the location of your defibrillator within your office building, and to see if there is one there at all. If not, now is the time to install one for the sake of your office workers, and the general community.

Dad saved by defibrillator

Another wonderful outcome, another life saved with the use of a defibrillator.

 “I get another chance to see my family grow up and live my life with my wife and kids.”

With the early use of a defibrillator that was at the start line of the running event, and the intervention of fellow competitors, this lucky Dad is able to start thinking about his next training session.

Does your local running group, club or sporting team have access to a defibrillator?

You can help create a safer space for your community by including a defibrillator in your safety equipment.

AED’s in the Australian Workplace

Employees are your number one assets. How are you protecting them from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), in the workplace? Any one of the 30,000 out of hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrests that happen each year in Australia could happen in your workplace.

Unlike heart attacks, a SCA can strike people of all ages and fitness levels and the only effective treatment is a shock from a defibrillator, administered as soon as possible. Sadly, few companies are prepared to deal with SCA despite the fact that death from SCA is more likely than death from fire. Yet companies that have plenty of fire extinguishers in place to protect employees, customers, and visitors may not have even one defibrillator on their premises. Having automated external defibrillators (AEDs) readily available in the workplace can mean the difference between life and death.