9 January 2020 posted by Recovery Partners

You see a person clutch their chest, lose all colour in their face, and suddenly fall to the ground, unconscious while displaying no signs of life. The signs mimic that of someone suffering from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). You know CPR, but where’s the closest defibrillator?

Reducing the time it takes to locate an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is key. If an AED is applied to a sudden cardiac arrest victim within the first minute of collapse, their chance of survival is 90%. For every minute that passes, their chance of survival drops 10%, leaving a 10-minute‘ window of opportunity.’

Where’s Your Nearest Defibrillator?

Not every defibrillator’s location is registered. The location varies in every town, but defibs are most common in large public places, such as:

  • Hospitals – In the hospital wings or at the closest nursing station
  • Community Centres – In the foyer
  • Schools – The school office or staff room
  • Business Centres – Ground level next to the evacuation plan
  • Golf, Football, Soccer, Swimming, Hockey and Cricket Clubs – Behind the bar or in function rooms. These locations are often central to the club
  • Gymnasiums – Hinged and clearly signed on the walls surrounding the gym equipment. Try the wall closest to the treadmills
  • Shopping Malls/Centres – Central locations such as toilet isles, cinemas, or information desks/centres
  • Public Library’s – In the foyer
  • Zoo’s – front office and staff rooms.

Many of these locations are subject to operating hours. For example, you will only have access to the defibrillator located in your public library’s foyer during the library’s operating hours. This means the closest defib to you depends on the time of day. If you need access to a defib, think about where you are. If you are not sure, send someone else to retrieve a defibrillator while CPR is immediately administrated.

Still unsure where to find your nearest defib? Contact your local council and ask for defibrillator locations. Here is an example of defibrillator locations in Brisbane City (last updated in 2010).

How Does A Defib Work?

Defibrillation works by delivering an electrical current through the heart muscle via the defibrillation pads. All electrical activity in the heart is temporarily ceased hoping that when it returns, it will be in a rhythm compatible with an effective pumping motion.

Survival rates are highest when defibrillation is delivered within the first few minutes of the time of the collapse. Through greater defibrillator availability and knowledge of the location, survival rates of SCA victims will improve.

Defibrillation in DRSABCD

D = Danger. Check for danger before approaching the causality. Things to check for may include live wires, exposed needles, or flammable liquids. Your safety ALWAYS comes first.

R = Response. Attempt to get a response from the causality by asking them to say their name or squeeze your hand.

S = Send for Help. If there is no response, now is the time to call 000. If other people present at the scene of the accident, send someone to locate the nearest defibrillator.

A = Airway. Is the airway clear? Check to make sure the causality has nothing in their mouth, such as broken teeth, food or vomit.

B = Breathing. Once a clear airway is established, check to see if the causality is breathing.

C = Compressions. Commence chest compressions at a rate of 30 compressions to 2 breaths. You should be pushing at a depth of 1/3 of the victim’s chest and at a rate of 100 chest compressions per minute (this will be interrupted by administrating the breaths).

D = Defibrillator. Apply the defibrillator following the voice prompts. If emergency medical staff are there applying the defib, follow their instructions.



Australia Wide First Aid created this infographic to ensure the “Where’s Your Nearest Defib” message was communicated to all age groups. This visually appealing and easy to understand infographic is a great resource to display in your workplace or share among school-aged children.


This article and infographic were researched and created by Australia Wide First Aid. The information supplied should not be used in place of advice from qualified health professional(s).

Our services are available nationwide. For more information about our services contact us.

Our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) or email enquiries@rrp.com.au

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/