Defib in your street launches in Sunshine

St John Ambulance Victoria is urging those in Sunshine to take part in the program to transform the suburb from one of the most dangerous places to have a cardiac arrest to one of the safest. (Supplied)

St John Ambulance Victoria (SJAV) is expanding its ‘Defib in Your Street Program’ into its third suburb – Sunshine – in a bid to increase cardiac arrest survival rates.

Incidents of sudden cardiac arrest now sits at almost 8000 per year in Victoria alone, an increase of 20 per cent in just five years.

With a 5 per cent survival rate, SJAV is on a mission to raise that rate to 15 per cent, which could save another 780 lives per year in Victoria.

The Sunshine 3020 postcode includes the suburbs of Sunshine North, Sunshine West and Albion. SJAV reports that there is not one defibrillator available 24-7 in the entire postcode, despite appearing in the top 10 list of suburbs with the most cardiac arrests in a five year period, recording 229 from 2018-23.

Fraser MP Dr Daniel Mulino said the program had the potential to “turn around” survival rates.

“… And with data showing that more than half the Sunshine community haven’t received any first aid training recently, St John’s offer of free access to first aid courses will be of great benefit,” he said.

And if people needed any further encouragement on the importance of learning CPR, Leanne Conway spoke movingly about the night in 2020 that her husband Andy experienced a particularly severe cardiac arrest.

For 26 minutes, Leanne and her daughter Renee performed CPR on Andy, ensuring he stayed alive until the paramedics arrived and were able to stabilise him.

“I am only alive to tell this story because my family knows CPR,” Andy said.

Leanne said she had performed CPR a few times, once following a road accident and another time when a person began choking when dining in a restaurant. Both people are alive because Leanne knew CPR.

Her message couldn’t be clearer.

“Please learn CPR. You never know when you might need it, but if you are prepared you will save a life.”

SJAV is calling for Sunshine residents to participate in the program by signing up for free CPR training or hosting a defibrillator.

Locals can head to to find out more on how to participate.