RIDING FOR A CAUSE: Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond members with Michael Chapman in his Ballina stop, to register the AED at Ballina RSL Club.
RIDING FOR A CAUSE: Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond members with Michael Chapman in his Ballina stop, to register the AED at Ballina RSL Club. Jacqueline Munro

Keeping the heart beating

IT has been a long 19 days for Michael Chapman.

Last Thursday, Michael arrived in Ballina to register the Ballina RSL Club Automated External Defibrillator on the AED Locator App.

For the past three weeks, Michael has been riding along the east coast of Australia in order to raise awareness for AEDs and the AED Locator App.

The AED Locator App was designed by Parasol EMT New England to put the community and first responders in touch with their local AEDs.

Every year, sudden cardiac arrest occurs to about 30,000 Australians.

With the average ambulance response time being between nine and 14 minutes, survival rates without a first responder are fewer than five per cent, and for every minute that passes without CPR or AED intervention, the chance of survival decreases by seven to 10 per cent.

The AED Locator App can help first-aid-trained people quickly locate a nearby AED, cutting down precious minutes while waiting for an ambulance, which could ultimately save someone's life.

"The concept (of the ride) was to raise awareness of AEDs and to try and register as many AEDs along the way as possible,” Michael said.

"The more AEDs that are registered, the higher the chances are that we could save someone's life.”

Michael said communities with available AEDs and appropriate training courses can increase survival rates of cardiac arrest victims by nearly 40 per cent.

He was welcomed to Ballina by members of the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond, who were proud to support his journey.

"Defibrillators are incredibly important, so it's wonderful to see what they're doing,” Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond's Colin Lee said.

"Those few extra minutes can really mean the difference between life and death.”

Michael is aiming to register as many facilities

as possible with onsite AEDs, so individuals can locate them in a time of emergency.

Everyone should download the app, as you never know when you may need an AED, he said.

"Everyone should be able to understand the importance of basic CPR and defibrillator training to take charge in any emergency situation that may arise with their loved ones or even a complete stranger.”

The 4500km journey from Cape Tribulation, Queensland, will finish in Hobart, Tasmania, with Michael and his support team covering over 150km per day to ride the entire length the east coast in 25-30 days.


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