Heart Smart Burnie

The Rotary Club of Somerset, Tas, is on a mission to become the second ‘heart smart’ location in Australia. Inspired by Iron Man Guy Leech’s cardiac survival Defib Hero program, the club is calling on businesses, schools, sporting groups and residents to register their defibrillators onto the Defib Hero app.

Each year in Australia approximately 25,000 people have a cardiac arrest out of hospital, and it’s estimated as few as five per cent of these people survive to leave hospital and go home.

Individuals who experience a cardiac arrest have a 70 per cent survival rate if a defibrillator is administered within the first three minutes, compared to just 10 per cent survival rate without one.

Survival rates decline by 10 per cent every minute a defib is not applied after that first three minutes.

“After losing a friend in 2016 to an unexpected cardiac episode, I made it my life’s mission to ensure a defib is always close by,” Guy said.

“While sudden cardiac arrests are unavoidable, survival rates are significantly higher if a defibrillator can be administered in those first few critical minutes.

“With ambulance wait times generally exceeding 10 minutes – often more in regional areas – the chance of survival quickly slips away, even if CPR is being administered.”

In partnership with Defib Hero, the Rotary Club of Somerset has provided $7,500 for five $1,500 dollar-for-dollar grants. Campbell’s Betta Home Living Burnie has donated a further $5,000 for more dollar-for-dollar grants. Zenith Wealth has also contributed, and discussions are ongoing with other local businesses for their support.

The project is being led by Rotary Club of Somerset President Grant Howe. The club aims to achieve up to 15, 24/7 access defibs throughout the community and ongoing education to residents in their use.

“I am very pleased to be leading this project for the Rotary Club of Somerset and the Burnie community,” Grant said.

Thank you to Barry Campbell and Campbells Betta Electrical for their support, as well as Marist Regional College and Zenith Wealth.

“Between all of us and my friend Guy Leech, we aim to make Burnie and Somerset Tasmania’s first heart smart community.

Local residents are encouraged to download the Defib Hero app and complete the free online training.

For more information on Bowelscan and to purchase a kit, visit bowelscanqueensland.org.au

MAIN PICTURE: Rotary Club of Somerset President Grant Howe, left, has partnered with Guy Leech’s Defib Hero program to make Burnie and Somerset Tasmania’s first heart smart community.