HATZOLAH launches an innovative new program

Hatzolah’s START THE HEART program will bring defibrillators – life saving equipment that can restart the heart, when someone has a cardiac arrest – into a number of Jewish community organisations.

Cardiac arrest kills over 30,000 Australians every year.  Fewer than 5{5751bc5b63690f6a3018c78004b9a8025eaa2eaac2b926a397aa26ea6af7f630} survive. When a person has a cardiac arrest their heart stops beating.  It can happen to anyone, anywhere.

GANDEL FOUNDATION has provided a grant to HATZOLAH, which will enable them to install up to 70 defibrillators as part of the START THE HEART program.  The grant will also fund the defibrillator training for key staff in community organizations.

“Bringing defibrillators into public spaces and into our community is a bold and innovative development in the life and health of our community. If utilised properly, it has the potential to change the face of health care in the public domain and save countless lives,” said Danny Elbaum, Operations Manager at Hatzolah.

In a cardiac arrest, the heart no longer pumps blood to the brain.  Without the oxygen and nutrients supplied by the blood, brain cells begin to die within minutes and death soon follows.  Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can help maintain oxygenation and blood circulation, but unless defibrillation is performed quickly, survival is unlikely.

Without defibrillation, survival rates are extremely poor.  With CPR alone a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest is less than 5{5751bc5b63690f6a3018c78004b9a8025eaa2eaac2b926a397aa26ea6af7f630}.  However, if prompt CPR is administered in conjunction with defibrillation within the first four minutes, the survival changes increase dramatically, up to 75{5751bc5b63690f6a3018c78004b9a8025eaa2eaac2b926a397aa26ea6af7f630}.

Local Jewish organizations will have the opportunity to apply for defibrillators at no cost to their organization. Hatzolah will install the defibrillators and train the relevant occupational health and safety personnel, so that key people are trained to use this live saving equipment.

More information about the program and the application form can be found here:

Hatzolah is a Jewish community-based organisation which provides a professional and high level of emergency care to members of the Jewish community. Hatzolah is officially acknowledged by the State Government as an accredited ‘First Responder’ Group, and it has signed a Heads of Agreement with Ambulance Victoria.

Hatzolah is known a ‘first responder’. First responders are people trained to high standards in Advanced First Aid, including Oxygen Therapy and Defibrillator use. They turn up to a crisis and apply basic first aid until an ambulance arrives.  Hatzolah is a first ‘Medical First Responder’ group in Vicotria.

As a first responder, Hatzolah is a unique organisation in Australia.  Although first responders do exist in other countries, Hatzolah is the only one operating locally. In Melbourne, Hatzolah’s average response time is an astonishing 4 minutes.