Passenger and heavy vehicle collision repair specialist, AMA Group, has partnered with Defib for Life to install defibrillators at every one of the Group’s 172 sites.
The roll out will be fast and is expected to be completed over the national network in the next two months.
Each year in Australia and New Zealand, an estimated 27,000 people have a cardiac arrest (where their heart suddenly stops beating) out of hospital.
A cardiac arrest can occur at any moment and the chances of survival depend largely on having a defibrillator nearby to reset the patient’s heartbeat.
Survival rates are as low as five per cent if no one starts CPR or defibrillation, to 90 per cent if a defibrillator is attached immediately.
It’s not the only recent news of en masse defibrillator uptake with a new pilot program in Reservoir in Melbourne’s north announced in April.
The year-long program will place defibrillators in the suburb in a grid to make it so residents are constantly within 400 metres of a lifesaving device.
Former paramedic, Andrew White, Defib for Life Founder said by installing a defibrillator, workplaces were ensuring that they were rescue-ready in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.
“Like fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and first aid kits, defibrillators are becoming a vital part of any workplace’s emergency response plan,” he said.
“AMA Group is leading by example and I strongly encourage other workplaces to follow suit,” said White.
A not-for-profit foundation, Defib for Life was established in 2010, following the tragic loss of several young people to sudden cardiac arrests at sporting venues.
One of those, 19-year-old Stephen Buckman, collapsed suddenly at football training and, with no defibrillator available and ambulance response prolonged, he tragically died.
White teamed up with Buckman’s mother, Sue, in order to reduce these tragic incidents.
The Samaritan PAD 500P defibrillator provided by Defib for Life analyses heart rhythm and automatically delivers electrical shocks (if needed) to restore normal heartbeat. It also has an integrated CPR Advisor, which gives visual and verbal feedback on the force and rate of chest compressions.
Having these devices to hand at every AMA Group site will not only safeguard employees and visitors but provides a life-saving resource for the whole local community according to the company, with the devices listed on national registers, so anyone witnessing a cardiac arrest nearby can locate the site online.
“There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our people and the communities in which we work,” said Carl Bizon, AMA Group CEO.
“With the biggest collision repair network across Australia and New Zealand, plus our parts supply network, partnering with Defib for Life means there are over 170 additional defibrillators available in our workplaces and to our communities,” he said.
“While we hope these will never be needed, I am pleased that we have made this investment, should their use ever be required.”
White said that although defibrillators are not yet mandatory in workplaces AMA Group has helped Defib for Life continue advocating through partnerships like this to make them more available.
“The more defibs out there the more lives will be saved,” he said.