Paramedics worked on Ray Campbell for 45 minutes outside his Wodonga home after he went into cardiac arrest, despite being just two blocks form the hospital.
The role paramedics played in the 2012 incident on Hereford Street highlights exactly why more Victorians than ever are surviving heart attacks.
The Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry for 2016 shows in the year 2015-2016, there were 5,812 adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrests events, the highest number in recent years.
The chance of survival to hospital discharge was two times higher than in 2002-2003 and median response time in rural areas was 9.9 minutes, lower than in the previous year at 10.2 minutes.
In Mr Campbell’s case, the response time was less than 10 minutes.
His heart attack occurred in late November 2012 after testing events relating to his home-based business, Allfix Electronic Repair Service.
“At that particular time, we were under a lot of stress and I think it was some trigger financially on the day that brought it on,” Mr Campbell said.
“Earlier that day, I didn’t feel right and went into Wodonga hospital with a bit of pain – they did all the tests, they were clear, and they sent me home.
“Later on that evening, I had a fairly big heart attack.
“It wasn’t as painful as some people may have experienced but my arms were sore and I was starting to get cold and sweaty.
“I called triple-o and sat outside on the step waiting for them to arrive.”
Mr Campbell lost consciousness as paramedics arrived and initiated thrombolysis to improve blood flow.
“I didn’t find out until later, but I spent 45 minutes in the ambulance, as they were parked out front.
“I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have survived if they had not been there when they were.”
The VACAR annual report showed bystanders are also helping save lives, with the use of public defibrillators for cardiac arrests increasing by 8.2 per cent compared to 10 years ago.
Premier Daniel Andrews said it showed the best survival rates in 10 years.
“Families can have peace of mind that paramedics are now responding faster to cardiac arrests and more bystanders are stepping up to give CPR and defibrillation,” he said.