Woolies congratulated for committing to heart health
A YOUNG woman campaigning for more access to defibrillators says Woolworths has made the right decision in committing to install the life-saving machines across Australia.
Emily Counter was just 20 years old when she went into sudden cardiac arrest while working out at Anytime Fitness Noosa last year.
If it wasn't for the quick-thinking actions of the people around her and the gym's defibrillator, she might not be here today.
Ms Counter's story of survival has spread across the world, with millions watching the shocking CCTV footage of the incident.
Now she's campaigning to save more lives with better access to defibrillators in gyms and businesses.
She congratulated the major supermarket for its commitment to looking after the health of its customers and employees.
Woolworths on Friday announced all stores would soon have access to the machines in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.
The first automated external defibrillators have already been installed in Sydney and 500 stores are set to be completed by the end of June.
Stores located in rural and regional communities, or areas where it may be hard to access a medical site, will be the first priority to have the defibrillators installed. "That's going to be a really powerful message that Woolies will spread,” Ms Counter said.
"It will create even more awareness by them. Every day, people will be able to be safe while they're shopping.
"I'm stoked that Woolies has actually stepped up and made this happen.”
The Heart Foundation has also welcomed the initiative to put defibrillators in all Woolworths stores and to train its team members in how to use them. Group CEO, adjunct professor John Kelly, said there were up to 15,000 cardiac arrests each each year in Australia and about 10,000 people did not survive.
"We know that for every minute without CPR or treatment with an automated external defibrillator to restart the heart, your chances of surviving a cardiac arrest go down by 10 per cent,” he said.
Woolworths managing director Claire Peters said the supermarket wanted to "do our bit” to help save lives.
Winc, in partnership with Integrity Health and Safety, an indigenous provider of work health and safety products, is helping Woolworths become the first major retailer in Australia to order and install defibrillators on a mass scale.