The Heart Foundation and Ambulance Victoria are working together to introduce the Heart Safe Community concept across Victoria. The aim is to support communities to play a critical role in reducing time to treatment during out of hospital cardiac arrests. Inverloch has been identified as an ideal location to expand this new program.
Each year, more than 5,800 Victorians suffer a sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospital. Sudden cardiac arrests can occur anywhere... in a workplace, at a sporting club, in a public library or shopping complex or in the home.
Whilst Victorian’s are more likely than ever to survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), there are disparities in survival rates across the state, particularly in regional and rural locations.
The key to increasing survival rates, is reducing the time to treatment. This requires members of the community or first responders to provide immediate emergency care to people in cardiac arrest, as well as immediately calling 000 to request an Ambulance, minimising delays in Ambulance response.
Ambulance Victoria strive for ongoing improvements in providing critical care to patients when called to a scene. Despite this, it is the Victorian community that plays a vital role in reducing time to treatment. This is through timely activation of the Call Push Shock steps that are most likely to restart a heart.
The Heart Safe Community concept involves building the capacity of a community to respond to a cardiac arrest. This is achieved by supporting strategies to upskill and reassure community members that anyone can save a life and create an environment that is primed to respond and has access to lifesaving AEDs. Proposed strategies include:
Project Team & Governance
The internal project team includes Heart Foundation Heart Safe Community staff and Ambulance Victoria Community Engagement and Operations staff representatives. A local community project officer will be appointed, and the success of this Heart Safe Community initiative relies on community participation and buy in, with a goal of eventual ownership.
Danielle Saxton - Heart Safe Community Project Manager
Eugene Lugg - Heart Safe Community Project Support Officer