Health & Wellness

SA Government launches grant program for life-saving defibrillators

Community and sporting organisations in South Australia will now have increased access to life-saving equipment during cardiac emergencies, specifically Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

A new grant program has been launched in South Australia to enhance access to life-saving equipment during cardiac emergencies. The South Australian AED Grants Program, unveiled this week, aims to provide $1,000 grants to non-profit community, cultural, or sports organisations, assisting them in acquiring Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for their premises.

Under the stewardship of the Malinauskas Labor Government, an investment of up to $3 million will be dispersed across four funding rounds for this initiative. The primary objective of the AED Grants Program is to facilitate the installation of AEDs by January 1, 2026, in line with the requirements outlined in the Automated External Defibrillators (Public Access) Act 2022. This legislation mandates the presence of life-saving defibrillators in public establishments such as schools, universities, libraries, sports venues, correctional facilities, local government offices, theaters, and swimming pools.

“Defibrillators save lives. Simple as that,” Chris Picton, Minister for Health & Wellbeing said.

“Having them in more buildings and facilities around the state means that if they are ever needed, they can be accessed.

“Now we’re getting on with providing more access to defibs to the community.

“I encourage all who are eligible in our communities to apply now. It could save a life.”

Championed by Frank Pangallo MLC, this pioneering Australian legislation serves as a vital safeguard for communities, ensuring access to critical cardiac equipment during times of need. AEDs, compact electronic medical devices, monitor heart rhythms and administer controlled electrical shocks (defibrillation) in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. They are user-friendly and can be operated by anyone trained to recognise cardiac arrest symptoms, following guidance from emergency services.

Prompt defibrillation significantly enhances the survival prospects of individuals experiencing cardiac arrest. For every minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival diminishes by 10 percent. To qualify for the grant, organisations must comply with the stipulations of the Automated External Defibrillators (Public Access) Act 2022, be situated in South Australia, and meet specific eligibility criteria, including possessing an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and operating as a not-for-profit sports or community entity.

“For every minute we delay defibrillation, a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest decreases by 10 per cent,” Preventive Health SA Interim Chief Executive, Marina Bowshall said.

“This is where these devices, and the community, can make a huge difference.

“I want to encourage all eligible not-for-profit organisations in South Australia to apply, and help improve access to these lifesaving devices in our communities.”

Grant recipients will bear responsibility for the installation and maintenance of the AEDs. Once installed, the location of each device will be registered with emergency services, enabling swift access for callers reporting cardiac emergencies.

Applications for the first round of funding close 5pm Friday, 24 May 2024.

For more information, click here.

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