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Coles employee reunited with firefighters who saved his life after cardiac arrest

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04 Sep 2019
A Coles team member who suffered a cardiac arrest while at work was today reunited with the firefighters who helped save his life.

Ricki Avery was meeting with a colleague at Coles Store Support Centre in Hawthorn East on 18 July when he suffered a cardiac arrest and lost consciousness just after 9am.

MFB firefighters from Glen Iris fire station were called to the incident and arrived on scene in less than five minutes to find Ricki’s colleagues administering CPR and using an on-site defibrillator.

Firefighters took over and began administering emergency medical treatment, with Ambulance Victoria paramedics arriving shortly after.

Thanks to the teamwork of firefighters, paramedics and Ricki’s colleagues, Ricki regained consciousness, received hospital treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.

Ricki is a Supply Chain Manager with the meat team at Coles and has since been able to return to work part time.

When a priority zero medical emergency (unconscious non-breathing patients, emergency medical incidents) is called into Triple Zero (000), firefighters are co-responded with the nearest ambulance.

Thanks to this life-saving partnership, hundreds of people like Ricki are alive today.

“Every time firefighters respond to a medical emergency, we increase the chances that someone’s partner, mother, father, sister, brother or child will get to spend precious time with their loved ones,” said MFB Acting Chief Executive Officer/Chief Officer Greg Leach.

“The fact that Ricki is alive today is a testament to the life-saving partnership between MFB and Ambulance Victoria, and the quick-thinking actions of his colleagues.”

“We wish Ricki all the very best for his recovery.”

Coles recently installed Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in each of its 825 supermarkets across Australia.

Coles Director of Safety David Brewster said the safety of customers and team members was a top priority at Coles, with a minimum of five team members at every supermarket trained and accredited in first aid by St John Ambulance Australia so they can help in medical emergencies, including performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of cardiac arrest.

“By having defibrillators available for our customers and team members, we will be even more able to provide help that has been shown to increase the chances of survival for people who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest,” he said.

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