Life-saving addition to Australian supermarkets

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HEART HELPER… From left, Coles Shepparton AED-trained staff members, Stephen Nedelvoski, Kaz Watson and Marnie Milne want to let the community know that defibrillators are now set up in all Coles stores nationally. Photo: Ash Beks.

HEART disease is Australia’s biggest killer, with more than 18,000 people losing their lives each year – equivalent to two deaths every hour.

To try and combat this alarming statistic and to provide a safer community for everybody, Coles has partnered with the Heart Foundation to encourage all Australians to look after their hearts.

The partnership has helped see Coles recently complete the rollout of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to all 820 of their supermarkets across Australia. The defibrillators will be located near the customer service desk and will be accessible for neighbouring retailers and small businesses to use in the case of an emergency.

The defibrillator itself is very intuitive and can guide those administering help in how to use it correctly. A minimum of five staff at every Coles supermarket are trained to use the AED and accredited in first-aid by St John Ambulance Australia, so that they can help in medical emergencies.

Coles Shepparton AED-trained staff member, Kaz Watson said, “Obviously we hope we won’t ever have to use it and there are quite a few staff trained to help in an emergency if needed.

“This is such an important notice for everyone in the community and a message we believe is really important to get out there.”

The Coles defibrillators have been set up in all stores nationally as of July 1.