St John NT have recognised the swift actions of a member of the Katherine community today with a Save a Life Award.
Katherine Woolworths Manager, Monte Montebello quickly responded to the needs of a trolley contractor in his store when they collapsed suffering from cardiac arrest on 24 December 2020.
Mr Montebello quickly initiated CPR and used an AED (Automated External Defibrillators) to save the contractor’s life.
St John NT CEO Judith Barker was at the Katherine Ambulance station to personally thank Mr Montebello for his courageous actions.
“Each year, over 30,000 Australians suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Tragically, only one in ten survive,” Ms Barker said.
“Learning CPR and knowing where to find and how to use an AED can mean the difference between life and death. I am grateful to have been able to personally thank Monte and acknowledge his selfless act in stepping in to save a life. This event happened on Christmas eve, because of him a family was able to celebrate Christmas without the loss of a loved one.
“Monte has been commended for having the confidence and knowledge to initiate CPR and use a defibrillator located in the store,” she said.
Paramedics who attended the scene noted that upon their arrival CPR was already underway by Mr Montebello and that he had already applied an AED as per the instructions.
With the assistance of Mr Montebello, an off-duty registered nurse, Northern Territory Police and an off-duty doctor, the patient was stabilised and transported to Katherine Hospital.
“This scenario demonstrates how important it is for members of the public to learn first aid and be willing to step in as first responders in an emergency. For every minute that passes without intervention, the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent,” Ms Barker added.
Woolworths General Manager NT Karl Weber said it was an honour for St John to recognise Monte's actions.
“We’re very proud of Monte's quick thinking to save a fellow community member's life and the way he handled himself during such a stressful situation on Christmas Eve.
"As a business, we know CPR and AED training is essential, and how to apply those skills can mean the difference between life and death.
"We're hopeful this reminds customers and team members how important CPR and AED training is and to regularly take refresher courses,” he said.
St John NT is committed to seeing the installation of public access AEDs across the Territory and appeals to businesses and community organisations to install them. Territorians can quickly locate an AED in an emergency through the free St John First Responder mobile app.
Photo: Monte Montebello with St John NT CEO Judith Barker