The City of Gosnells has installed nine new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at local public facilities, to allow for potentially lifesaving rapid response to medical emergencies.

The City has also relocated five existing AEDs to external walls on City buildings, for ease of access by the public in the event of a potential cardiac emergency.

Acting Mayor Adam Hort, who initiated the project, said the new defibrillators would allow St John Ambulance 000 emergency operators to provide over-the-phone instructions to bystanders assisting someone in suspected cardiac arrest while waiting for an ambulance to attend.

“It takes ambulances an average of nine minutes to reach patients in metropolitan area emergencies, and in this time cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by a bystander is very important, but the additional use of an AED, or ‘defib’, can significantly improve a person’s chances of survival,” Cr Hort said.

“I have spent most of my working life caring for people in hospital with heart disease. One way that heart disease can occur is through cardiac arrest, which is a very scary situation.

“Sudden cardiac arrest is a medical emergency where a heart’s electrical system stops working properly.

“As 000 emergency operators have access to a map of all available AEDs, they can guide bystanders to their location and how to use them if a shock is required. They are very simple to use.”

Cr Hort said he had lost count of the number of lives he had seen saved by defibrillators, and this had prompted him to work with Councillors and City staff to improve the network and coverage of AEDs across the City of Gosnells community.

“All AEDs, including ones installed by community and sporting groups, are registered so that 000 operators are aware of their location,” he said.

There are now AEDs at the Addie Mills Centre, the City’s four libraries, Gosnells RSL, the Huntingdale, Langford, Maddington, Richard Rushton and Thornlie community centres, Sutherlands Park and The Shack and The Castle youth centres.