External defibrillators installed at Shire facilities
Life-saving defibrillators have been added to the exterior of seven Shire of Mundaring facilities providing 24/7 access in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
The highly visible, weather-proof cabinets from St John WA are located at:
- Reflections Cafe - Lake Leschenaultia, Rosedale Road, Chidlow
- Mt Helena Aquatic Centre, Keane Street, Mt Helena
- The Hub, Craig Street, Mundaring
- Mundaring Library, Nichol Street, Mundaring
- Shire of Mundaring Administration Centre, 7000 Great Eastern Highway, Mundaring
- Mundaring Oval Pavilion, 50 Mundaring Weir Road, Mundaring
- Bilgoman Aquatic Centre, Owen Road, Darlington
Defibrillators can also be found inside Mundaring Arena and Boya Library.
Director Strategic and Community Services Megan Griffiths said staff resolved to add outdoor defibrillators to key Shire facilities following a request from a local family.
"The new St John cabinets provide secure storage in addition to an easy to use access system that enables defibrillators to be stored outside. This is relatively new solution and not one the Shire had previously considered," she said.
Tragically, the von Knoll family from Darlington lost their beautiful 14-year-old daughter, Elysha (pictured below), on Australia Day following a Sudden Cardiac Arrest at Mundaring Oval.
Elysha, a keen runner, had been training at Mundaring Oval when she collapsed. While there was a defibrillator nearby – inside Mundaring Arena – family members were unable to access it because the Arena was closed on the public holiday.
Ms Griffiths said when the Shire received a request from the von Knolls to consider installing an external defibrillator at Mundaring Oval Pavilion, it made sense to consider others sites as well.
"Seconds can count in an emergency. And for every minute a person waits for defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent," she said.
"We conducted a review of existing defibrillator locations within Shire buildings and saw the benefit of installing devices outdoors so they are accessible when our buildings are closed to the public."
Seven defibrillators were installed in new cabinets and registered with St John WA just a few weeks after the von Knolls made their request.
Elysha's father, Kurt von Knoll, welcomed the Shire's efforts saying he hoped to educate others about the important role defibrillators could play in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
"According to St John WA, sudden cardiac Arrest strikes about 30,000 Australians every year. Unfortunately fewer than 5 per cent survive, often because they cannot reach help in time," he said.
"I encourage everyone to download the St John WA First Responder App, which is available for Android and iPhone devices and provides excellent resources to improve the speed and effectiveness of delivering critical first aid.
"These include a defibrillator locator – showing all the defibrillator locations near you, a "call 000" feature that automatically sends your exact GPS coordinates to the St John Ambulance State Operations Centre when calling from within Western Australia, and the ability to notify qualified first aiders in the vicinity to deliver critical first aid.
"I also encourage those local businesses who have defibrillators on site to register them with St John WA so they can be added to St John' national register."
About St John WA Defibrillators
All cabinets are registered with St John. To access the defibrillator a person calls 000 and provides the cabinet number.
The 000 operator provides a code which opens the cabinet and then talks the first responder through the steps to correctly use the defibrillator.
The St John defibrillator register is a national register to record the details and location of defibrillators.
Download the St John First Responder App at https://stjohnwa.com.au/online-resources/st-john-first-responder-app
This article was first published on the Shire of Mundaring website.