Defib for Life is attending the National General Assembly of Local Governments

Getting the message out there is a big part of what we spend a lot of time working on her at Defib For Life. Raising the awareness is just as crucial as raising the number of defibrillators in our community – so this coming week we are going to work on both!

Defib for Life is attending the National General Assembly of Local Governments. A unique opportunity to connect with over 800 influencers and decision makers from councils across Australia whilst they develop policy and fiscal strategy for the coming year. These delegates represent the peak body for the local government sphere in Australia, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) which initiates policy development on national issues.

Attending the Assembly offers us the opportunity to show these delegates WHAT WE DO which is to educate communities to access early defibrillation knowing its imperative to improving outcomes from an unexpected sudden cardiac arrest.

During the Assembly, we have the opportunity to engage with federal politicians, to show them that it is now more important than ever to respond to the demand in the community to supply more units nationally to sporting clubs, organisations, workplaces, schools, and the like and to eventually create relevant legislative change to make AED’s legally required within these locations.

You can help out if you like, by writing to your local council and or elected members and ask them if they are going to invest a small amount of money to make your community rescue ready!

Don’t wait til its too late.

Sports Club Grants: Funding Your Life-Saving Defibrillator

For small and not-for-profit associations, a defibrillator can feel like a luxury, rather than the critical safety equipment it is.

Although most sports club recognise defibrillators as an essential part of their safety equipment toolkit, the initial outlay of cash required to install one can be daunting. For smaller clubs operating on shoestring budgets, raising the money needed can seem like a difficult issue to overcome. Your registration fees and community events cover the basics, but finding room for facility and equipment upgrades is an uphill battle.


Brighton Real Estate Agency to bring defibrillator to auctions

We love finding stories where communities are being innovative and finding ways to keep their communities safe.

This is a great idea, selling houses is a stressful experience….buying one even more so! If you are selling your house, ask your agent if they have a defibrillator in their car?

A leading Bayside community business is taking the initiative to help keep its citizens safe by carrying a defibrillator to every Auction in the Bayside area. The following story refers to a “heart attack” but the symptoms are classic to those of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest – no warning signs!

With every minute that passes after a sudden cardiac arrest, the chance of survival decreases by 10%. But by increasing the number of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) out in our communities, we have the power to change the outcome.

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

Nick Johnstone Real Estate

Genetic heart diseases and sudden cardiac arrest

Defib For Life was founded by highly experienced Victorian MICA Paramedic Andrew White, following the deaths of several young athletes and officials at sporting venues in Victoria, in particular Stephen Buckman, a 19 year old player who collapsed and died from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) while attending training at Rupertswood Football Club in May 2010.

That bit you have heard before. But, it was discovered that Stephen had a genetic condition. It was also discovered due to his death that his sister has the same condition. Stephen died, but his sister is alive because she had the chance to be fitted with an internal defibrillator.

There are a number of heart conditions that can cause Sudden Cardiac Arrest. One group is collectively known as genetic heart diseases. These often affect young people and are caused by an alteration in a gene that is present in the person at birth. Genetic heart diseases include structural heart conditions (e.g. hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, familial dilated cardiomyopathy) and rhythm disorders of the heart (e.g. long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome). In most of these cases, the first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, children) of the person with disease have a one in two risk of having the same condition. So it is important that a cardiologist checks all first-degree relatives.
How do you know if you have an underlying heart condition?

A few facts might help shape your decision to ask the questions when next at your doctor, or make an appointment specifically to get checked out.

Don’t wait ‘til it’s too late.


A member of the Defib For Life team each weeks spends time researching information to share with our connected audience to continue to educate us on all in the power of having an AED in your community.

2 years or so ago we had a survivor do some work at Defib For Life helping us as we were growing in the community. It was very powerful for us to learn about Sam’s story – a young mum who had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest at the gym. Like many of us, she was getting back in to shape, exercising like she had done many times before – this day was different. Thank goodness there was an AED in the neighbourhood and Sam is seeing her young daughter grow up.

Its great to hear another news outlet looking into this angle too. Have a read – check your gym when you go in for your next workout….is there an AED somewhere on the wall?


Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest


Sudden cardiac arrest symptoms are often immediate, giving little warning, and are drastic.

  • Sudden collapse
  • No pulse
  • No breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Rarely, other signs and symptoms precede sudden cardiac arrest. These may include fatigue, fainting, blackouts, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, palpitations or vomiting. But sudden cardiac arrest often occurs with no warning.

What to do if you Suspect Cardiac Arrest?

Call 000, start CPR and apply and Automatic External Defibrillator.

3 Steps

What side of the coin do you want to be on Coach?

With national heart week just concluded its great that there are many conversations going on at work places, at home, with your friends and family. But what if you are a coach? What responsibility do you have to your athletes?

Here are a few tips for Coaches to make sure their clubs rescue ready and that your athletes can feel safe knowing you are prepared!

Check your first aid kit

  • Make sure that all your products within your first aid kit are up to date
  • Who is first aid trained – are their qualifications up to date?
  • Identify your first aid trained and make sure everyone in your club knows who they are – introduce them at training, create a profile of them and share that in your next newsletter

Do you have a Chain of survival?

  • Understanding when you have an emergency on your hands is important. But often its good to practice what you would do in the case of an emergency
  • Do you have a plan, a poster and a process to activate the chain of survival?
  • Ensure coaches, staff, and athletes are being trained in proper safe procedures for cardiac arrest (and other sports related injuries such as concussions, overuse injuries, and heat illness). If coaches have not completed courses on safety, such as CPR, AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) training, and first aid refresher training, involve other parents and school officials to advocate for training.


Heart risks in children

With school going back, we thought we would share some information around the myths and impacts of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in youths, yes in young people.

The first is that a SCA does occur in young, fit children. Currently it claims the life of 2-3 kids a week in Australia and these kids are walking around without showing any symptoms of an unknown heart condition.

“Sudden cardiac death in children and young adults has a devastating impact on families, care providers and the community,” says Professor Chris Semsarian, who led the multinational study.

“It’s a tragedy that claims the lives of two to three young Australians each week.

Awesome Foursome at Garfield Golf Club

There are some days when you go to work and great news comes your way!

“It was 2pm on a Tuesday in January….the phone rang again – it had been ringing all day. This call was different.

It told me of a golfer who had been at the right place, at the right time to have a sudden cardiac arrest. Paul Miles, a local golfer was playing a round of golf with his brother when he collapsed. His brother John acted quickly….ripped open his shirt and started CPR! One of the other members of the “4” Kevin, called 000 and then the final bloke in this story Peter was running to get the defibrillator from the club house.

Peter arrived back in minutes, probably the fastest he had run since his high school days…but he then applied the defibrillator.


The ambulance arrived in time to find Paul with a heart rhythm – the shock for the AED had re-started the heart and he was transferred to hospital.

The Garfield Golf Club has been engaged for a long time with the local Bendigo Bank in Bunyip; it was the nearby branch that had donated the defibrillator.

I hung up the phone exhausted and with mixed emotions – exhilarated to hear about the save, in operations mode knowing we needed to replace the pads, but with a tear in my eye knowing that Paul would still be here with his family – and sooner rather than later, be back playing golf with his brother John.”


Many steps for preventing Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (SCDY) have been identified, beginning with increasing public awareness of SCDY risk factors, cardiac symptoms, and appropriate actions.
Another step is to increase community knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
Sadly children and young people can suffer sudden cardiac arrest, as well as the older population.
Medical experts believe many children could be saved if a defibrillator is used within minutes of collapse. However, there is currently no national system in place in Australia to ensure defibrillators are on school premises.

Defib for Life is working to make defibrillators mandatory, but we need your help.