More defibrillators for rural WA

Press Release

Increasing the number of life-saving defibrillators and boosting the number of people using first aid to help people in distress will improve the rural WAs reliance.

St John is a believer in a “system saving people”. That system includes publically accessible defibrillators, people trained in first aid and quality, timely ambulance services.

“In WA, St John provides a very good ambulance service but in some situations such as cardiac arrest, time is critical,” St John Country Ambulance Manager, Julian Smith said.

“In cardiac arrest every minute that goes by without help can reduce a person’s chance of survival 10 pec cent, therefore the placement of more publically accessible defibrillators throughout the region would also save more lives.”

“These devices, which deliver a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to a person’s heart when it has stopped pumping, are very easy to use even if you haven’t got any knowledge of first aid training.”

St John maintains a register of more than 2,200 defibrillators that are linked in with the triple zero (000) call centre so that can be readily deployed when a cardiac arrest has occurred.

Mr Smith said people and organisations are encouraged to register defibrillators with St John if they haven’t done so in the past.

He said: “Defibrillators can be registered under the St John Community First Responder (CFR) Program, which means local people on the ground can help victims of sudden cardiac arrest in the vital minutes before the ambulance arrives.”

“There is no fee to do this and St John can provide ongoing support and customer service.”

In 2018, St John has recorded 26 recorded activations at CFR locations where the patient has survived to hospital as a result of early defibrillation.

Community First Responder is operating in 2,200 locations across Western Australia. In recent times (May), a woman’s life was saved in Kalbarri after first aiders utilised a defibrillator registered on the CFR system that was located at Kalbarri Beach Resort.

Also, by downloading the free St John first responder smartphone App you can help save a life. The app allows the user to call triple zero (000), and we can alert anyone people within 500m of an incident so that they can perform CPR. The app will also show users the location of nearby defibrillators.

Businesses or individuals that have a defibrillator not linked with the St John CFR system can do that by emailing

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