St John NT has donated an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to the Darwin Sobering Up Shelter as part of its public access defibrillator program, aimed at providing all Territorians access to the lifesaving device.
The shelter assists homeless and displaced people in the greater Darwin area who are under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.
“Early defibrillation is the key to success in a cardiac arrest, and if a defibrillator can be used before paramedics arrive, it can greatly increase the chance of survival,” said St John NT CEO Judith Barker.
“Mission Australia places early intervention and prevention at the heart of their work, which is what makes them such a perfect match for our donation.”
Mission Australia program manager Jodie Ransom said they were thrilled to receive the defibrillator.
“We aim to ensure our clients feel safe at all times when using our services,” she said.
“Most of our clients are part of a vulnerable population who may be more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases, so having this defibrillator is a valuable tool in being able to offer that safe space to people.”
In Australia 33,000 people suffer from a cardiac arrest each year. Contrary to popular belief, sudden cardiac arrest can happen at any age, and without a defibrillation, less than 5% of sufferers will survive.
In March 2019, St John NT embarked on a mission to install 1000 public defibrillators across the Northern Territory. Two years on the mission continues and has gained momentum with 367 defibrillators now registered across the NT.
The new St John branded defibrillators were released in February and are simple to use, powerful and give more people the chance to act in an emergency.