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24 November 2021
By SARAH MATTHEWS
What started as an average day at work at Horsham’s Johnson Asahi soon became anything but, as two quick-thinking staff saved the life of colleague Jon Symes.
In October last year, Mr Symes, 74, suffered a cardiac arrest while at work.
Export co-ordinator Amanda Krause went to investigate a noise from Mr Symes’ office and found him slumped over his desk.
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Ms Krause said fellow staff member Colin Flack responded to her call for medical help and the business’s AED, Automated External Defibrillator.
“Colin came out of the office and put Jon on the floor for me,” she said.
“I removed his shirt and put the defib on and that point it did ask us to shock him, which we did do. It analysed him again and asked us to do CPR, so I started CPR. Then he came around and the lovely paramedics turned up.”
Ambulance Victoria arranged a get-together at Johnson Asahi on Friday, so Mr Symes could reconnect with some of the paramedics involved in his treatment.
The gathering was also an opportunity for Ambulance Victoria leaders to encourage Wimmera-Mallee residents to learn CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation – and reinforce the importance of using an AED.
Horsham paramedic Matt Perry said it was ‘extremely important’ people learnt CPR.
“If you have a workplace with a large amount of people, we strongly encourage you to purchase an AED – it might save the life of one of your workers or even yourself,” he said.
“Our Call-Push-Shock promotion is to encourage more people to become involved in first aid and CPR and hopefully we can increase the survival rate of cardiac arrests.”
Statistics released by Ambulance Victoria show each day, about 18 Victorians suffer a cardiac arrest, which occurs when a person’s heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body.
A person in cardiac arrest will collapse and stop breathing normally and should receive CPR, or chest compressions, immediately.
The survival rate is one in 10 and CPR and defibrillation are critical for surviving a cardiac arrest – for every minute that CPR is delayed, survival decreases by 10 percent.
When bystanders call triple zero, start CPR and shock using an AED, a patient’s chances of survival increases by 72 percent.
“The more that can be done prior to us arriving, the better,” Mr Perry said.
“They’re not always alive by the time we get there, but if someone is doing a bit of CPR and the AED is being used, then the patient will have a much better chance of surviving and this is just a perfect case.
“Obviously it’s fantastic to come and see Jon as fit as he is today. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case for every patient that we attend who has a cardiac arrest.
“I have no doubt that the fact the company had purchased an AED and was up to date with first aid training was key to his survival.
“Congratulations to the company and Amanda and Colin who quickly jumped in and assisted Jon.”
Johnson Asahi operations manager Tony Huebner congratulated his quick-thinking staff.
“Jon’s an integral part of Johnson Asahi and being able to save any life is just amazing,” he said.
“Amanda and Colin have done a fantastic job, as did the girls who were in the front office.
“The paramedics came quickly – we had four cars here within five minutes of the call – so we had no problem with the response time, it was fantastic.”
Mr Symes took the opportunity to thank everyone involved in saving his life, along with his ongoing care.
He also acknowledged Johnson Asahi’s commitment to first aid training, along with the paramedics who attended his incident.
“A special thanks to John Kelly who kept me company for that long, two-hour, very bumpy journey between Horsham and Ballarat,” he said.
“Thank you very much for looking after me and providing that oxygen every now and then, it was marvellous.
“I’m fit and well and hopefully we have no repeat.
“The cardio rehabilitation ladies also did an excellent job – thank you all for saving my life.”
People can visit www.ambulance.vic.gov.au for more information about CPR and AEDs.
The entire November 24, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire November 24, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!