Death from cardiac arrest is the country's "silent toll".
About 1500 people die following a heart attack every year in New Zealand - a figure which is roughly four times higher than the national road toll.
St John Hawke's Bay territory manager Brendon Hutchinson said it is a statistic "everyone can change" and one which is slowly gaining momentum.
Today is International Restart a Heart Day (RAHD) and St John, in partnership with Wellington Free Ambulance, Fire and Emergency NZ and the NZ Resuscitation Council are joining together to teach everyone how to save a life.
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Hutchinson says it can happen to people of any age at any time, but the chance of survival can be doubled with bystander CPR and use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).
"For us, we want as many New Zealanders as possible to know CPR."
Geoff Gerven and his partner Moana Dyer are thankful members of the public knew what to do after a heart attack caused Gerven to go into cardiac arrest.
"I thought he was going to die then and there," Dyer said.
"Nothing really prepares you for that moment and it all just happened so quickly."
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Almost a month on from that Saturday morning when they were taking their dog for a walk at Napier's Park Island, Gerven is slowly making his way back to full health.
Gerven says he couldn't be more thankful to those that came to his aid in a moment that has changed his life.
"I'm just glad for their help because they saved my life and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be back here," he said.
Gerven says physically he feels back to normal with just a few aches and pains in his chest from his triple-by-pass operation.
He is back to a couple of hours work a day and being in IT it's not too much of a strain on him.
"It does get a bit boring around here and I'm not able to drive for a little while so that doesn't help too much," Gerven joked.
He says his experience has really informed him of the importance of learning CPR and encouraging people to get more involved.
"I'm already getting people on board with it because it's a vital simple skill everyone should know the basics of.
"When I get back to work I'm already planning on making sure my colleagues know some of the basics and also get an AED there."
Dyer says she is already learning first aid and says it is vital for anyone to learn because it could be needed in any situation.
"It has really opened my eyes to how vital something like this is and how important it is for people to know even the basics of first aid and CPR."
Hutchinson says we're further along the road towards saving more lives in Hawke's Bay.
The number of defibrillators in public places in Hawke's Bay has increased, particularly over the past two years, with charitable trusts such as Royston Health Trust donating a large number.
While there are first aid courses run by the likes of St John, Hutchinson stresses that from the moment you turn on an AED, it tells the user step-by=step what to do.
But familiarising oneself with where a defibrillator is in case of an emergency is important.
"One thing that I think all first responders have learnt over the years is you don't know when it's going to happen so just having a little bit of situational awareness of where your nearest AED is for instance can certainly help save someone's life."
The free GoodSAM app which tells members of the public with first aid training if someone nearby is in need, has also added another tool to the basket.