News & Events

Defibrillators funded through Freemasons Foundation Victoria

February 20, 2017

OCAV residents at Rushall Park and Leith Park villages are set to benefit from a grant from the Freemasons Foundation Victoria for two defibrillators.


The portable devices are designed for the untrained rescuer to use if someone is having a cardiac arrest. The defibrillator takes the rescuer through the process of preparing and applying the pads with voice guidance and clear diagrams. Once pads are applied the device analyses the cardiac rhythm and advises on whether it is appropriate to deliver a shock.


The funding has been welcomed by Chief Executive Officer Phillip Wohlers who said the defibrillators will make an enduring difference to the lives of older Victorians living in the two villages.


Mr Wohlers said that each year at least 20 residents suffer a cardiac arrest that can be treated with a defibrillator. Since each device is expected to last up to five years, this means around 100 older people will receive potentially life-saving treatment as a result of the generosity of the Freemasons Foundation.


“They are a potentially life-saving intervention and this funding, together with training, will make a difference to our residents,” Mr Wohlers said.


Older people are at elevated risk of heart attack and make up over half of all sufferers in the state. Around 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack each year. Older people are significantly more likely to suffer a cardiac arrest, and for it to be fatal.


“In Victoria, for example, 58% of victims are aged 65 and over and the majority of cardiac arrests happen outside of hospital.  Taking immediate action with the use of a defibrillator can increase a person’s survival rate by up to 90%,” Mr Wohlers said.


The addition of defibrillators in two OCAV villages extends the nursing support that the Association currently offers its residents. All staff are trained in first aid and are able to perform CPR.


“The reality is that without defibrillators, however, all they can do is wait for an ambulance to arrive, which in many cases may be too late, given that 1 in 4 people die within an hour of their first symptom,” Mr Wohlers said.



Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

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