After losing her husband to cardiac arrest, Anne Holland is determined to bring about change.
Ms Holland founded the charity organisation Urban Lifesavers, which aims to empower ordinary people to become lifesavers.
“Urban Lifesavers was established in memory of my husband who didn’t survive a cardiac arrest,” Ms Holland said.
“We’re focused on raising awareness about cardiac arrest, providing defibrillators into the retail shopping areas where large numbers of people gather and in lobbying for legislative change to make them more inclusive in workplaces.”
However Ms Holland said providing the equipment is only part of the job.
“We’re big on providing education sessions,” she said. “We teach people the why, when and how to use a defibrillator and why time matters.
“The survival rate for people suffering cardiac arrest goes from less than five per cent to over 80 per cent if they’re defibrillated within the first five minutes.”
Although the company is still small, Ms Holland said it’s quickly growing in stature.
“We put five AEDs into Boroondara last year, we’ve put a couple in Bayside and now we’re starting to put them into Brimbank and Moonee Valley.”
Terry White Chemmart in Keilor Village was last month fitted with an AED which will be available for public use, courtesy of the charity. Terry White Chemmart owner Dino Sapuppo said it’s a welcome addition to the store.
“I’m thrilled with this donation – we were actually going to buy one for the store anyway, so to have one donated is just fantastic,” Mr Sapuppo said.
While the machinery is for public use, Mr Sapuppo said staff at the chemist will be on hand to help should an emergency arise.
“About five staff members here have been trained in how to use the machinery, which will help if a situation occurs.
“Here’s hoping we never have to use it.”