Private Members Statement – 14 October 2020
Mr Victor Dominello, Minister for Customer Service and Member for Ryde
Cardiac health is an immensely important piece of our health network and impactful on mortality. Well known statistics on cardiac health are frankly horrifying: The survival rate is less than 9 per cent and every minute that passes since onset without intervention reduces survival chances by 10 percent, with roughly 30,000 cardiac arrests occurring outside of hospital each year. The very nature of a cardiac arrest means that there simply is not enough time for ambulance responses. Early intervention is needed. These early responses are critical and include CPR and, importantly, application of a defibrillator.
Increasing first responses to cardiac events is key to improving safety in our community. Thanks and congratulations need to be extended to the Michael Hughes Foundation for its advocacy and work in increasing access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in Sydney, New South Wales and even across Australia. The benefit and altruism of this task cannot be understated. Its Executive Director Julie Hughes, deserves a great deal of credit for doing her part to make Ryde, and Australia as a whole, a much safer and ultimately better place. It is people like her who drive progress and save lives. For those reasons, I have sought to assist the Foundation in achieving its goals of a heart-safe community in Ryde. However, there are many elements to a heart-safe city.
The first is the physical presence of AEDs in the community. This is improved by private organisations purchasing available AEDs or by government funding for implementing and maintaining the devices. Secondly, there is the encouragement of bystanders and people in the community to become good Samaritans and be the first responders. The Foundation refers to this as “giving a beat”. Improving first response from the community arises from education and training, both of which are provided by the Foundation. Finally, there is access to the AEDS and bringing it all together to make sure our community first responders have access to the equipment they need. The Foundation is working to create a detailed map that is freely accessible to the public by digital platforms – further demonstrating that every aspect of life will be improved by digital integration.
The community also deserves praise for its uptake of AEDS. Our local shopping centres are installing AEDS for public use. Centres like Midway, which was opened by the Rocca family in 1960, is celebrating its sixtieth birthday this year. Its current manager, Ross Rocca, recently installed an AED for public use. Cox’s Road Shopping Mall also has a publicly available AED for the community in North Ryde. I thank Seb and Annette Letini for their leadership to the centre and all the shops that assist with easy access to the AED. Cox’s Road has been a centrepiece of North Ryde for a long time and continues to foster a strong local community, which is keenly keeping safety at the forefront.
In conjunction with the Michael Hughes Foundation, I went to my community seeking assistance in developing more knowledge of the locations of AEDs in our area and was reminded of the kindness, passion and actions of our community with immediate and in-depth responses. Our community has noted that there are not one but two AEDS situation within the grounds of Epping Boys High School and Marist College Eastwood. Top Ryde City has training for staff to know the location and use of their AEDs. Ryde Little Athletics is also well equipped, with its AED available at Dunbar Oval in Sobroan Road, and AEDS are available at St Anthony’s Church in Marsfield and at Holy Spirit Church in North Ryde. I have also been informed that the AED situated in St Charles Church, Ryde was put to use just recently. AEDS are lifesavers and I am pleased to be able to work with Julie Hughes from the Michael Hughes Foundation to make Ryde a HeartSafe place.