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Heart Safe Communities

The aims of the Heart Safe Community initiative

The Heart Safe Community initiative aims to improve survival rates for people suffering cardiac arrest across Victoria by teaching community members how to perform CPR and use an AED when others need it most. This is a joint initiative between ¬ť∂Ļ…Á Victoria and the Heart Foundation.

The program aims to:

  • Raise¬†community awareness of cardiac arrest
  • Promote¬†the role of Triple Zero (000) in a cardiac emergency
  • Teach people CPR skills and how to use a defibrillator
  • Identify¬†and register¬†existing¬†defibrillators
  • Install and¬†register¬†new defibrillators
  • promote and educate on the use of smart phone technologies, like

Heart Safe Community locations are selected based on the following:

  • ambulance demand
  • number of cardiac arrests
  • rates of bystander CPR
  • number of publicly accessible AEDs
  • population and demographics
  • access to health care
  • infrastructure
  • community capacity and readiness to engage

Heart Safe Community locations

Thirty one locations are now official‚ÄĮHeart Safe Communities‚ÄĮin Victoria.

In 2023 we welcomed Bulla, Heathcote, Heywood, Lake Boga, Meeniyan, Metung, Monbulk, Nathalia, St Arnaud, Tallangatta, Warracknabeal and Winchelsea to the Heart Safe Community Program.

Map key

2018 Pilot

2019 Expansion

2022 Expansion

2023 Expansion

Heart Safe Communities in the six regions of Victoria

Barwon South West

  • Bellarine
  • Queenscliff
  • Camperdown
  • Terang
  • Port Fairy
  • Coleraine
  • Lismore
  • Heywood
  • Winchelsea

Gippsland

  • Inverloch
  • Rosedale
  • Mallacoota
  • Longwarry
  • Yallourn North
  • Meeniyan
  • Metung

Grampians

  • Smythesdale
  • Clunes
  • Murtoa
  • Warracknabeal
  • St Arnaud

Hume

  • Tatura
  • Euroa
  • Beechworth
  • Chiltern
  • Violet Town
  • Tallangatta
  • Nathalia

Loddon Mallee

  • Boort
  • Donald
  • Robinvale
  • Murrayville
  • Stanhope
  • Dunolly
  • Lake Boga
  • Heathcote

Metro

  • Healesville
  • Red Hill
  • Kinglake
  • Bacchus Marsh
  • Bulla
  • Monbulk

Success stories

The success of the program was evident on Christmas Day 2018, when Tatura had its first survival story as a result of the program. Local paramedic Ben Johansen attended the cardiac arrest of David Hughes, where bystander Andrea Manners was performing CPR. Andrea had learned CPR during a Heart safe Community session months prior. Because of the Andrea’s actions on that day, David is now back at work having made a full recovery. Watch David’s incredible story and the success that Tatura have had as Victoria’s first Heart Safe Community.

Evaluation

Melbourne University evaluated the initiative and the overall findings demonstrated that the pilot sites built local community capacity to respond to out of hospital cardiac arrest as demonstrated by increased community knowledge, confidence and skills to call 000, attempt chest compressions and acquire and use an AED. Download the (3.5 MB PDF)

We know that lives have been saved, and more will be saved, because of this initiative. We are committed to working with more communities across Victoria to improve out of hospital cardiac arrests survival rates.