Bright yellow life-saving devices are popping up in public places thanks to former Yellow Wiggle Greg Page.

Mr Greg Page was joined by Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins (main image, L-R) this morning (Monday, 03 July), to unveil one of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices that has been installed at the B-Line bus stop next to Village Park at Barrenjoey Road, Mona Vale.

The AED is one of 15 being installed across the Northern Beaches by the charitable organisation Heart of the Nation, founded by Mr Page.

Around 28,000 Australians suffer Sudden Cardiac Arrest each year, of which only ten percent survive. Greg Page experienced this first-hand in January 2020, the day after his 48th birthday, when during a live performance as the Yellow Wiggle he collapsed onstage, suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Thanks to a nearby AED, off duty medical professionals and volunteers from the audience, his life was saved.

As CEO of Heart of the Nation, Mr Page has since made it his mission to make AEDs readily available and easily accessible in more locations, and to train as many people as possible on how to use them.

“A lot of people don’t understand cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction of the heart, and that electrical malfunction needs to be reset. CPR won’t reset that malfunction, it will just keep the blood flowing to the brain. If you’re doing CPR, you’re waiting on the paramedics to arrive and use their defibrillator.

“You’re waiting for the paramedics, and over that time delay the electrical activity inside the heart decreases, so that when the heart restarts, there’s no electrical activity to reboot it. The longer you wait, the less chance of survival.

“If somebody accesses this [AED] within five minutes, rather than waiting 13 minutes for an ambulance to get here, the chance of survival is so much greater.

“In Victoria, they’ve done a lot of research on this, and when there is an AED placed on a patient within that three to five minute window, it was 67 percent chance on average of survival, compared to the average of a ten percent survival rate,” explained Mr Page.

Yellow Wiggle Greg Page with a new AED at Mona Vale

The 15 new locations across the Northern Beaches can be easily found within the free Heart of the Nation smartphone app on Android or Apple, which will also alert registered community members to nearby emergencies and allow them to respond.

“We’ve created the Heart of the Nation app to show the location of AEDs around Australia. The other thing with the app is that you can actually alert an incident from the app as well,” pointed out Mr Page.

According to Mr Page, anyone can use an AED to save the life of someone experiencing cardiac arrest.

“If you need help, it calls Triple Zero (000) but it also sends a notification out to nearby responders. We need people to sign up to become a responder so they can get those alerts.

“Anyone can do this, you don’t need to be trained. Just go and get the AED and take it to somebody who needs it,” said Mr Page.

Heart of the Nation is a registered Australian charity, with placement of the AEDs across the Northern Beaches made possible with funding from the Mounties Group, which owns the Harbord Diggers club at Freshwater.

Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins with a new AED at Mona Vale

Northern Beaches Council is collaborating with Heart of the Nation by providing access to the public locations for the placement of the AEDs. Mayor Sue Heins said Council was proud to be a part of the life-saving mission.

“We are installing life-saving defibrillators, generously donated by Heart of the Nation and Mounties Group, in major public areas and bus stops across the Northern Beaches.

“This means any member of the public can access these life-saving devices when they need them, no matter the time of day. If you can access an AED within three to five minutes of someone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, you can increase their chance of survival to 70 percent.

“We encourage everyone in the community to familiarise themselves with the locations because you just don’t know when you may need to use one,” said Mayor Heins.

The last of the fifteen locations for the new AEDs across the Northern Beaches will be commissioned by tomorrow (Tuesday, 04 July).

They are being installed at:

  • Bus stop, 345 Barrenjoey Road, Newport
  • B-Line terminus, Village Park, Mona Vale (images above)
  • B-Line bus stop, 1472-1518 Pittwater Road, Warriewood
  • B-Line bus stop, 1417 Pittwater Road, Narrabeen
  • B-Line bus stop, 1060 Pittwater Road, Collaroy
  • B-Line bus stop, 890 Pittwater Road, Dee Why
  • The Strand, Dee Why
  • B-Line bus stop, Warringah Mall, Pittwater Road, Brookvale (images below)
  • B-Line bus Stop, 84 Kenneth Road, Manly Vale
  • 381-383 Sydney Road, Balgowlah
  • Bus stop, 138 Sydney Road, Fairlight
  • Bus stop, 1 Belgrave Street, Manly
  • Bus stop, 206 Pittwater Road, Manly
  • Bus stop, 681 Warringah Road, Forestville
  • Bus stop, 56 Glen Street, Belrose

There are three steps to take when someone suffers Sudden Cardiac Arrest:

CALL — Call Triple Zero (000)
PUSH — Start CPR
SHOCK — Use an AED

AEDs are purposefully designed to be used by anyone. You do not need a qualification or certification to operate one. An AED will not shock a patient that does not need to be shocked, and it will not harm the responder.

Heart of the Nation has launched a national campaign, with the aim to educate 20,000 Australians on how to perform CPR and use an AED. For more information about how you can help save a life, visit the website.

To see a map of AED locations on the Northern Beaches, visit the Northern Beaches Council website.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate, Luke Gavahan

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