Jo Zeman and Jonathan Barge.

To celebrate heart week, St John Ambulance Victoria (SJAV) has gifted a local Bendigo business a life-saving defibrillator.

Golden City Support Services is a provider of support services to people for disabilities, dementia and age-related conditions, and was chosen to receive the unit due to their work within the community.

Employee Jo Zeman said having a defibrillator on hand means they will now be able to provide life-saving support to their employees and patrons.

“We’re so excited to receive the defibrillator as it will give so many people peace of mind that if there is a medical emergency they will now be able to easily access one,” she said.

Golden City Support Services will register their device on the Ambulance Victoria AED register at registermyaed.ambulance.vic.gov.au

This online register provides local communities with the location of their nearest Defibrillator for quick and easy access in the event of a SCA.

Businesses across the state were invited to apply to win one of five defibrillators in the hope to create greater access to the machines for all Victorians.

The unit will have public access so it can be used by the wider community in case of an emergency.

Alongside this initiative, SJAV is calling for mandatory defibrillators in the workplace, as new research reveals a worryingly low awareness among Victorians of this life-saving device in the workplace.

During Heart Week this week, SJAV wants to draw attention to the importance of these units and the need to educate employees on how to use them.

Defibrillation within the first few minutes of having a sudden cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival to more than 70 per cent.