WITH 18 stores throughout Queensland, Sunshine Mitre 10, one of the largest independently operated and owned hardware suppliers in Queensland, have invested in lifesaving defibrillators for all its stores.
Sunshine Mitre 10 general manager Neil Hutchins said the defibrillators were an investment in emergency health care not just for their staff, but also for the communities in which they operate.
“We have over 400 staff across our locations, and we take our duty of care very seriously so we have first aid officers at each location, and now we also have defibrillators which can help save lives for anyone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest,” Mr Hutchins said.
“But it’s not only that, many of our stores are in regional and remote locations so by having a defibrillator on-site, it also makes these lifesaving devices more accessible to the local communities.
“And while it’s a very big investment, if we can save just one life, it will be money very well spent.”
Mr Hutchins said over the past year, there had been a few incidents where staff had heart conditions and that together with hearing from White’s IGA owner Roz White about how one of their defibrillators had saved the life of a local rower, motivated them to act.
“These machines really can mean the difference between life and death, so we need more of them in the community.”
Mr Hutchins said Sunshine Mitre 10 had sourced the defibrillators from iHeart180, a company founded by Guy Leech in 2016, after he lost a mate to sudden cardiac arrest.
Mr Leech said while there was no nearby defibrillator when his mate “Chucky” had a heart attack and died, quick access to a defibrillator could be the difference between life and death.
“More than 500 people a week have heart attacks or strokes. Unless a defibrillator is put on you within about three minutes, you’ve got a 10 per cent chance of survival. The average time for an ambulance to arrive is 12 or 13 minutes,” Mr Leech said.
Mr Leech said the defibrillators were easy to use, with the machine giving instructions during use. He said they would only shock the patient if they needed to be shocked.
Mr Hutchins said with its 110-year history, Sunshine Mitre 10 was dedicated to supporting the communities in which it has stores and the provision of defibrillators was just a part of its ongoing commitment.
The defibrillators are now with first aid equipment in all Sunshine Mitre 10 sites including St George, Roma and Roma Steelyard, Dalby, Kingaroy, Mareeba, Weipa, Bundaberg, Gympie, Noosaville, Cooroy, Coolum Frame and Truss, Kunda Park, Nambour, Kawana, Caloundra, the Eagle Farm Distribution Centre and Brisbane City.
Sunshine Mitre 10’s new flagship store at Nambour would also have a defibrillator when it opens in July.