Hato Hone St John hopes to empower 10,000 people with the 3 Steps for Life as part of its ‘‘Shocktober’’ and Restart a Heart Day campaigns.

Cardiac arrest remains one of the leading causes of death in New Zealand, with more than 2000 people a year treated for cardiac arrest. Of those, only 25% survive hospital arrival, and only 11% leave hospital alive.

St John head of community education Jacci Tatnell said that while the statistics were alarming, the good news was that survival rates could double with a little help from friends.

‘‘Bystander CPR can mean the difference between life or death, which is why we are committed to training as many people as possible in Nga Tohu Whakaora e Toru — the 3 Steps for Life programme: Call, Push, Shock — call 111, push is to start CPR, and shock is to use an automated external defibrillator (AED),’’ Ms Tatnell said.

‘‘Our goal is to deliver it to 10,000 people by leveraging on Restart a Heart Day on Sunday, October 16, and focusing the whole month of October on CPR and AED training — which is also why we’ve coined it ‘Shocktober’.’’

To help deliver on that goal, St John will be holding free public training events nationwide.

‘‘We’re super excited because this is the first time in two years that we have been able tomark Restart a Heart Day with public training events due to the pandemic.’’

The need to learn CPR and how to use an AED was more important than ever, Ms Tatnell said, given that the latest Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Report showed cardiac survival rates fell during the pandemic.

‘‘The more people we can empower with the 3 Steps for Life, which is a free programme, the more lives are likely to be saved.’’

St John also encouraged everyone that learned the 3 Steps for Life to become a GoodSAM responder.

‘‘This means they will be alerted when someone nearby is in cardiac arrest so they can respond before emergency services arrive — giving that person the best chance of survival,‘‘ Ms Tatnell said.