Bega Valley residents now have access to a defibrillator in Woolworths Bega and Woolworths Bermagui stores to assist in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.
The automated external defibrillators (AED) were installed in Woolworths Bega and Woolworths Bermagui stores recently and are part of a priority roll out program at Woolworths that ensures rural and regional communities, or areas where it may be hard to access a medical site, gets first access to the roll out.
The AED is designed to be used by anyone, with clear step-by-step voice instructions that can guide members of the public through the process.
"You never know when a sudden cardiac arrest might strike and in the unfortunate event that it does, having the local community able to access this treatment, could help to save lives," Woolworths Bega and Woolworths Bermagui group manager Ben Sealey said.
"The best medical advice tells us that access to an AED early on can greatly increase the chance of survival."
Deputy executive director Professor Jamie Vandenberg from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute said sudden cardiac arrests are usually fatal if action is not taken immediately.
"It's critical all Australians are equipped with the skills to act quickly in these circumstances; the first 3-5 minutes holds the key to survival," he said.
"Access to a defibrillator can mean the difference between saving or losing a life.
"A sudden cardiac arrest occurs when there is an electrical problem with the heart. A defibrillator delivers a therapeutic dose of electrical currents to the heart, giving a person their best chance of survival.
"Unfortunately, there are often no warning signs for a cardiac arrest, and it can happen to young people as well as older people regardless of gender."
The defibrillator installed at Woolworths Bega and Woolworths Bermagui are supplied by Winc, in partnership with Integrity Health and Safety, Australia's first Indigenous Australian provider of work health and safety products.