At Heart Support Australia we have members across Australia who go out of their way to provide peer support, information and encouragement to people who have been affected by cardiac events in their community. Heart Support Australia would like to shine a light on a project carried out by one of our Branch’s that will protect the hearts of their community.
Our Caboolture and District Branch has been running for over 20 years and has been heavily involved in community activities, especially during weeks like Heart Week where they host events at the Caboolture Hospital and local shopping centers. The Branch also gives yearly donations to Prince Charles Hospital, Weseley Hospital and the Cardiac Unit of the Caboolture Hospital.
This year, with support from the Queensland Government’s Community Gambling Benefit Fund, the Branch embarked on a new project.
Every year, over 20,000 Australians suffer a sudden cardiac arrest...only 10 percent of those people survive.
Time is everything when is comes to increasing a patient's chance of survival. After suffering a cardiac arrest, every minute that passes without defibrillation reduces the patient’s chances of survival by 10 percent.
In response to this, Heart Support Australia’s Caboolture Branch has worked hard to ensure that members of their community have easier access to defibrillators.
Through the defibrillator project, the Branch has been able to donate nine defibrillators to community groups.
Gilbert Nielson, who was branch president at the time said,
“The project enabled us to liaise with a number of community groups and provide them with a resource to give people a ‘second chance of life.’ These groups are very grateful, praising Heart Support Australia in general, and in particular, our Branch for making this happen.”
The project also provided another opportunity to advocate the work that Heart Support Australia and the local Caboolture Branch do for heart patients and their carers.
The Caboolture Branch presented the defibrillators to eight community groups at an event on the 9 July 2019. During the presentation, members from St John’s Ambulance gave a short demonstration on how to use the life-saving machines. St John’s Ambulance generously offered two free CPR courses for each of the defibrillators received by the groups.
The eight groups that received the defibrillators included the Caboolture Men’s Shed, Burpengary Men’s Shed, Bribie Island Croquet Club, Caboolture Community Care, Enhance Care Caboolture, Grant Road Community & Sports Complex, Caboolture Senior Citizens and the Plantations Retirement Resort.
“This will make a huge difference, knowing there is a resource at hand should we need it. Thank you for arranging to give us this vital equipment,” said one of the recipients.
The project did not end there. On September 23rd, 2019, The Caboolture Branch presented the University of the Third Age with the ninth defibrillator.
President of the University Wendy Sanders said, “this appliance will certainly give us peace of mind while classes are being held at our facility, knowing that the defibrillator will be readily available to assist if necessary.”
In recognition their outstanding efforts, Heart Support Australia has proudly awarded the Caboolture and District Branch with the Community Heart Heroes Award for 2019.
Heart Support Australia General Manager Monica Glasgow said, “The contribution that the Caboolture Branch has made to their community through this life saving initiative is remarkable. The Caboolture Branch's defibrillator project has given their community access to a vital resource that may give someone a second chance of life, which, in our eyes, makes each member of the Branch a Heart Hero.”