Every Coles supermarket in the Illawarra has been fitted with life-saving technology to provide rapid first-aid to customers or team members having a sudden cardiac arrest.
As part of a partnership with the Heart Foundation, Coles has rolled out automated external defibrillator (AED) devices to more than 820 Coles stores around Australia including Thirroul, Corrimal, Fairy Meadow, Wollongong, Figtree, Warrawong, Berkeley, Dapto and Shellharbour.
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A minimum of five team members at each store are trained and accredited in first aid by St John Ambulance Australia.
Heart disease is Australia's biggest killer, with more than 18,000 people losing their lives each year - equivalent to two deaths every hour.
The defibrillators will be located near the customer service desk and will be accessible for neighbouring retailers and small businesses to use in the event of an emergency.
In early July, defibrillators were installed in Woolworths stores across the Illawarra to assist in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.