PARAMEDIC Matt Pearce has had his fair share of heart-stopping moments in his 18-year long career.
Shocktober is a month dedicated to the education around cardiac arrest when a heart literally stops.
Mr Pearce said that survival rates for cardiac arrest drop by 10 per cent every minute before CPR is started, and the public could help improve survival by being trained in CPR and first aid.
"Everyday 18 Victorians will have a cardiac arrest, meaning their heart has stopped," he said.
"The survival rate of that is one in 10, and 76 per cent of those happen in the home, not in a hospital.
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"It's important to be able to have people who are confident and trained to conduct CPR and also use AEDs."
Other than performing CPR or utilising an AED, automated devices are used during a cardiac arrest to shock the patient's heart into normal function.
Members of the community can become a part of GoodSAM.
A life-saving smartphone app connects Victorians in cardiac arrest with community members who are willing to start CPR in the critical minutes before paramedics arrive.
Since the development and launch of the app in 2018, 50 lives in Victoria alone have been saved thanks to people who have signed on to be a GoodSAM.
Mr Pearce explained that GoodSAM is location-based and voluntary and has even used it himself when off-duty to help save lives.
"It's fantastic, as long as there are people willing to join it, it works very well," he said.
"People are able to assist in the vital minutes before an ambulance arrives."
One GoodSAM member is Murtoa's Riley Keel.
After a dramatic rescue in 2017 before the app, Mr Keel has continued his first aid and CRP skills.
At 17-years-old just two weeks after his first aid training, Mr Keel was out during his lunchtime and saw a man slumped over.
"It was out of the blue," he said.
"It was pretty scary, it helped that I had just done my first aid training."
Mr Keel said Mr Pearce spoke to him and encouraged him to be a part of the GoodSAM.
Mr Keel kept up with his first aid training either through his work at GrainCorp or through the CFA and said it's worthwhile for anyone to get trained.
"It's once of the easiest courses," he said.
"You might never use it or like me, you might use it two weeks later."
For information about the GoodSAM app and how to sign up, visit heartrestarter.com.au.
To learn how to do CPR and use an AED (defib), visit ambulance.vic.gov.au.
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