Hunter Heart Safe

By Daisy Smart

Did you know that 30,000 people die annually in Australia due to sudden cardiac arrest? Members of the Hunter Heart Safe organisation are working hard to educate locals on how to minimise this statistic. 

Hunter Heart Safe was founded in 2019, the name deriving from the concept of a ‘heart safe community’, a population where there are enough community-based people who know how to do CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), allowing for a higher chance of survival from cardiac arrest.

Volunteers doctors, nurses and paramedics make up the members of this amazing organisation. With over one hundred associates, they have been able to train around 2,000 locals in the use of CPR and an AED in the Newcastle and Hunter region. 

Shaun, one of the volunteers, says that he has been involved in various training sessions over the last two years and says he has seen great positive feedback emerge from the community around the organisation’s training sessions. 

“Basically, we want to train the community on how to do hands only CPR and use an AED as community bystanders were more obliged to start CPR if they didn’t have to do mouth to mouth,” says Shaun. “For someone who has a sudden cardiac arrest in the community, immediate CPR from a bystander and the use of an AED, can increase their survival rate fivefold.” 

Recently, the organisation has found it difficult to conduct regular lessons due to COVID-19 lockdowns. “With restrictions, it’s hard to get out and do those face-to-face training sessions, but we are gearing up to continue our training sessions in the community once restrictions ease.” says Shaun.  

Training sessions are completely free for any community group, business or organisation that are interested. To contact Hunter Heart Safe and for more information visit their website for more:

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