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Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA)
Global Resuscitation Alliance (GRA) Australasian Secretariat

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDS) in the community Position Statement

Position Statement

The Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA) represents the principal statutory providers of ambulance services in Australia and New Zealand. It is also the Australasian Secretariat for the Global Resuscitation Alliance (GRA).

In both capacities, CAA seeks to advance the GRA’s mission to accelerate community involvement in saving the lives of victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Only one in ten people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest. This can change with greater community awareness of the life saving impact of CPR combined with the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Anyone can use an AED. We have a collective responsibility to be familiar with AEDs and how to use them.


The GRA was initiated by international medical service leaders in 2015. Their aim was to stem the death toll from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) which claims the lives of millions of people around the world every year.

It is based on the successful strategies of the Resuscitation Academy in Seattle and King County, USA, where the cardiac arrest survival rate for Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) and Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) is 62 per cent. The CAA was appointed one of four international secretariats, with each of the secretariats accepting the challenge to promote a Chain of Survival, which includes access to publicly available AEDs, as part of a comprehensive program to lift survival rates.

chain of survival

More information on the GRA is available at globalresuscitationalliance.org


CAA’s member services are committed to increasing the survival rates through initiatives that assist to deliver the GRA mission.

The encouragement of bystander CPR and use of AEDs in public places is a critical feature of the GRA mission to accelerate community adoption of effective life saving measures and the CAA supports activities which address this goal.

In conjunction with community first responder Apps and a greater availability of AEDs everywhere including homes, schools, workplaces, sporting and social venues, both community and professional first responders will be better equipped to restore heart beats.

AEDs should be a fixture familiar to us all, wherever we go and whatever we do each day at home, work and play.

Life Saving Initiatives

CAA member services are progressively undertaking campaigns to locate and register AEDs in the community to facilitate access in an emergency.

The Restart A Heart Day campaign was introduced in Australia and New Zealand on October 16, 2017 as part of an international initiative to train members of the community including school children how to perform CPR and use an AED.

A simple campaign message to call the emergency number, push to provide CPR and shock using an AED, highlights that all bystanders who witness a cardiac arrest can act to save a person’s life, just using their hands and an AED.

We can all be that bystander if we take the initiative and have access to AEDs. We can all be life savers.

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