Defib project takes aim at sport clubs

SPORTING groups are being urged to take advantage of a Red Cross program aimed at helping clubs buy their own defibrillators.

Red Cross has launched a new initiative aimed at subsidising defibrillator packages for sporting organisations in an effort to reduce the impact of sudden cardiac arrests.

Project Defib offers $1600 subsidies to clubs, meaning they will only have to pay $2600 for a defibrillator, support and training package.

Former Olympian Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, who has signed on as an ambassador for Project Defib, said the program could help some of the 33,000 Australians who suffer sudden cardiac arrest each year, 95 per cent of whom do not survive.

"Access to a defibrillator is vital and should form part of a sporting club's duty of care to protect the players as well as spectators, coaching staff and volunteers," she said.

Red Cross training services general manager Chris Case said defibrillators were extremely safe and easy to use because users were guided using visual and voice prompts.

"To have a defibrillator on hand is like having an insurance policy - the best thing that can happen is you never have to use it."

- Details: For information on Project Defib, call 1300 769 930 or visit their website