Girgarre welcomes new 24/7 defibrillator

Lifesaving device: Girgarre residents will now be able to better help those in need. Photo by Craig Sillitoe

Girgarre locals are better equipped in the event of an emergency after the recent installation of a new automated external defibrillator, which will be accessible 24/7.

Ambulance Victoria donated the life-saving device to Girgarre after the success of the Heart Safe Community Program in Stanhope last year.

The Heart Safe Community initiative aims to improve the survival rates for people who are suffering cardiac arrest across Victoria by teaching community members how to perform CPR and use an AED when others need it most.

This is a joint initiative between the Heart Foundation and Ambulance Victoria.

AV paramedic and Stanhope Heart Safe Community co-ordinator Anita Stirling presented the 24/7 AED to members of the Girgarre Facilities Committee.

“We know that performing CPR and using an AED greatly improves someone’s chance of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest,” Ms Stirling said.

“We’re excited that this defibrillator will now be accessible to the Girgarre community 24/7 in case it is ever needed.

“We had a really successful Heart Safe Communities program run in the area last year.”

More than 150 people are being trained in life-saving CPR as part of the Heart Safe Community program in Stanhope and Girgarre.

Girgarre Memorial Hall committee president Dennis Hammond helped install the AED on the external wall of the public toilets behind the hall on Morgan Cres.

“It will be handy to have it there, and the fact that it’s available 24/7 is great for the community,” Mr Hammond said.

“I know that some people can fear doing CPR, but this machine talks you through it. In an emergency, you just need to call an ambulance (000). Don’t panic, and the defibrillator will tell you what to do.

“Hopefully, we never have to use it, but if we do, it’s there.”

AV Loddon Mallee director Matt McCrohan said the donation would help people feel confident to act in someone’s time of need.

“Currently, about 20 Victorians suffer a cardiac arrest each day, and only one in 10 survive,” he said.

“Bystander CPR and use of an AED increases a patient’s chance of survival by more than 70 per cent.

“Anyone can save a life in three simple steps. Call, push, shock: call 000; push hard, push fast on the middle of the chest; shock using an AED.”

AV is encouraging community groups in Girgarre to attend Call, Push and Shock sessions to learn how to use their new 24/7 AED in an emergency.

Community groups interested in arranging a small group session can email their request to