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St John Tasmania: Empowering Communities with Lifesaving Defibrillators

The Nepalese Football Club of Tasmania receiving their AED

At St John Tasmania, our mission is to "make our Tasmanian community safer through first aid." A key initiative in realising this mission is our Community Safe Program, which provides automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to like-minded non-profits and community groups. This program enhances the safety of these organisations and ensures more lives can be saved in the event of a cardiac emergency.

St John Tasmania CEO Andrew Paynter underscores the critical importance of having more defibrillators readily available in the community. "The availability of AEDs in public spaces and community organisations can mean the difference between life and death in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. Our goal is to ensure that every Tasmanian, regardless of their location, has access to this vital piece of equipment."

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death globally. It occurs when the heart's electrical system malfunctions, causing the heart to stop beating effectively. Without immediate intervention, SCA can be fatal within minutes. However, the timely use of an AED can significantly increase the chances of survival. An AED delivers a controlled electric shock to the heart, helping to restore a normal rhythm. The presence of an AED, along with someone trained to use it, can more than double the survival rate of SCA victims.

In our recent rounds of grants, several deserving organisations have received our AED, the G5. This state-of-the-art device is equipped with iCPR feedback, a revolutionary feature that provides real-time feedback on the quality of chest compressions during CPR. Quality CPR is integral to the chain of survival, and the St John G5 AED ensures that rescuers perform compressions at the correct depth and rate.

One notable recipient is JCP Youth, an incredible charity dedicated to empowering and uplifting young people facing challenges in our community. The organisation's founder, Will, experienced a cardiac arrest, highlighting the urgent need for an AED. With this grant, JCP Youth is now better equipped to protect the young people and staff who are at the heart of their mission, ensuring that their vital work can continue safely.

Another vital addition is at the Dorset Field and Game and the Peter Murrell Walkers (a National Heart Foundation walking group). Both groups operate in remote areas of Tasmania and have members at a higher risk of sudden cardiac arrest. With their new AEDs, they can safeguard their members, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the health benefits of their activities.

The Nepalese Football Club of Tasmania (NFCT) and the Tasmanian University Football Club also recently benefited from our program. The Nepalese soccer club organises various events and tournaments with around 300 participants. The club has faced challenges in affording an AED, but this grant means the NFCT can keep their players safe during games and tournaments. They even plan to lend the AED to other clubs when needed, extending its impact across the community.

The Tasmanian University Football Club will strategically situate their AED within the club rooms, ensuring that both the football and cricket clubs can access it, thereby providing increased safety for thousands of people throughout the year.

Recently, we have also promised AEDs to the Launceston North Uniting Church, a multicultural church that provides a space for diverse congregations, a Crossroads group (people with disabilities) and other local community groups, and the Anglican Parish of the Huon - St James Village which provides low-cost rental accommodation for older persons in the community.

The importance of quality CPR and first aid training cannot be overstated. Effective CPR, when combined with the use of an AED, can significantly increase the chances of survival following a cardiac arrest. St John Tasmania is dedicated to providing comprehensive first aid training to ensure that more people are equipped with the skills and confidence to respond in an emergency.

Andrew Paynter adds, "Each of these organisations plays a vital role in their respective communities. By providing them with AEDs, we are not only supporting their mission but also ensuring that they are better prepared to handle emergencies. This is a crucial step towards creating a safer and more resilient Tasmania."

St John Tasmania is proud to support these organisations and many others through our Community Safe Program. Together, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of Tasmanians, ensuring that more people have access to the lifesaving power of defibrillators. With every AED placed and every first aid training course conducted, we move closer to our vision of a safer and healthier community.

The next grant round will open in September 2024. Find out whether your group or organisation is eligible here. Or to stay updated subscribe to our mail list.


If you would like to purchase a defib, you can take advantage of our End of Financial Year Sale.

JCP Youth being given an AED
 Peter Murrell Walkers receiving an AED