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National AED locator saving lives

According to the Australian Red Cross, 50-70 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive if defibrillation occurs within the first five minutes. For every minute that passes, there is a 10 percent less chance of survival. Do you know where the nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is in your community? Would you know how to find one if you needed to help someone?

A 2023 survey conducted by Philips revealed that a staggering 74 per cent of Australians are unaware of nearby AEDs in their community.

But there is no need to start scouring streets and community centres to track down their locations – there’s an app for that!

A defibrillator is a device that uses electricity to re-start the heart or shock it back into a normal rhythm. AEDs are usually found in public spaces – like schools, business centres, shopping centres, hospitals and public libraries – and can be used by anyone in an emergency. They guide you through each step of the process.

While there are numerous state specific AED locator apps available, often managed by ambulance departments or government health departments, not-for-profit charity Heart of the Nation funds and operates a national registry of AEDs, which are shown on the Heart of the Nation App.

The social enterprise was founded in 2020 by Greg Page, best known in the community for his career as the original Yellow Wiggle, after suffering sudden cardiac arrest on stage during a performance for bushfire relief. The charity is on a mission to transform how Australians respond to sudden cardiac arrest and is committed to increasing survival rates through education, training, and rapid access to AEDs.

Anyone who owns an AED can register their device, so it can be found more easily by bystanders through the app and through connections to ambulance services.

With just a simple click of a button, you can pinpoint the 10 closest registered AEDs, all within a five-kilometre radius of your location.

The app will also call 000 and at the same time notify any Heart of the Nation Responders in the area, so you can stay to do CPR while they bring an AED to you.

This year, Heart of the Nation has joined forces with the Heart Foundation to help save more lives from out of hospital cardiac arrests in Australia.

The partnership between the two organisations will begin with several targeted projects that place more AEDs into rural and semi-rural areas, with a focus on educating the community about the location of AEDs, as well as interactive education sessions to give community members confidence to respond while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

“Those crucial minutes before an ambulance arrives are when CPR and an AED need to be used to dramatically increase a person’s chance of survival,” Mr Page said. “I strongly believe that through this partnership with the Heart Foundation, we can continue to improve CPR and AED education and awareness in our communities.”

For more information on Heart of the Nation, visit