Corlette volunteer with St John Ambulance Service says AEDs are a valuable workplace tool to save lives

WORTH IT: St John Ambulance Service Maitland-division volunteer Shannon Carroll with a life saving Automatic External Defibrillator. Picture: Sam Norris

WORTH IT: St John Ambulance Service Maitland-division volunteer Shannon Carroll with a life saving Automatic External Defibrillator. Picture: Sam Norris

Research has found that only one in five Australian workplaces have defibrillators and that’s something the St John Ambulance Service wants to change.

St John’s this week announced it wants to work more closely with businesses to roll out the live saving technology especially with strong interest in Automatic External Defibrillators among workers.

While the Galaxy Research survey of 1000 adults showed that only 20 per cent of workplaces have an AED installed, 83 pc of respondents wanted one at work.

“As soon as someone goes into cardiac arrest AEDs are a vital piece of lifesaving equipment,” St John Ambulance Service volunteer Shannon Carroll from Corlette said.

“You don’t know how quickly the ambulance service are able to respond.”

The Heart Foundation NSW said while there was no national registry of cardiac arrest, it estimated there was as many as 15,000 cases in Australia each year and about 10,000 deaths.

In addition to AEDs in more work places – especially construction sites – the foundation wanted more employees to receive training.

Of the 1000 respondents to the poll, more than two-thirds (73 pc) had not received training in AED use.

St John Ambulance NSW CEO Philip Kimbell said a defibrillator on-site and an adequate number of trained first aiders was the best way to keep employees safe in the event of an emergency. 

“While a an AED is not compulsory, it is a vital piece of emergency first aid equipment and the only definitive first aid treatment for cardiac arrest,” he said.

“Safe and healthy workplaces can also boost staff morale, lower levels of absenteeism, reduce job stress and encourage higher organisational commitment.”

Without defibrillation and CPR the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest reduces by 10 pc every minute and after 10 minutes without it there is little-to-no chance of survival. If used in the first two to three minutes the chances of survival are said to be 75 pc rather than 10 pc without.

“In my view, if businesses can afford them, they should have them,” Mrs Carroll said.

To find out more information visit: www.stjohnnsw.com.au/shockingaus