Emergency defibrillators have been installed in four tiny Scottish villages by Crailing, Eckford & Nisbet Community Council, to address concerns about the distance from emergency services and an ageing population.
Four Powerheart G5 AEDs from Cardiac Science have been purchased for the residents of Crailing, Eckford, Nisbet and Ulston in the Kelso/Jedburgh area of Roxburghshire in the beautiful Scottish Borders.
Sheila Campbell, Secretary of Crailing, Eckford & Nisbet Community Council, said: “The presence of the defibrillators will benefit residents in our rural community. Two defibrillators have been placed adjacent to village halls where regular events and activities are held, so these well-used venues are now in close proximity to life-saving equipment.
“We feel the defibrillators will also potentially benefit the many visitors who cycle or walk through the area and also be available for major events such as the Jedburgh Half Marathon and wheelchair race involving around 1,000 competitors.
She continued: “Of course, we hope we never need to use any of this equipment in an emergency, but it is reassuring for the community that the equipment is available if required.
“The Council has been greatly impressed by the community’s response to this initiative with over 30 people, around 20% of the local population, already stepping forward to volunteer to learn how to use the defib.”
Expert training sessions, which were carried out by John MacPherson of Cardiac Science, have given people the knowledge and confidence to act decisively if someone suffers a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
Crailing, Eckford & Nisbet Community Council was awarded grants from Scottish Borders Council and Kelso Community Grant Scheme (funded by Sainsbury’s) to buy the G5s from Scottish H.A.R.T (Heart at Risk Testing), a charity set up by Kenneth and Wilma Gunn MBE after they tragically lost their son to cardiomyopathy. The charity’s primary aim is to raise awareness of cardiomyopathy and other heart disorders.
All of the units have been placed in weatherproof cabinets and three of them have been installed in red telephone boxes, which the community council adopted from BT three years ago as a place to exchange magazines and provide visitor information.
The defibrillators are registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service, which means the emergency services know exactly where the units are and who the point of contact is upon arrival at the scene.
Wilma Gunn from Scottish H.A.R.T. added: “We have had a great working relationship with Cardiac Science for many years and have now over 100 units placed all over Scotland with most being here in the Borders.
“When the Community Council approached us we had no hesitation in recommending the new Powerheart G5 which is state-of-the-art. As well as these four machines, we have orders for another four, plus more enquiries from local groups.”
John MacPherson of Cardiac Science said: “The response we received from people who signed up for the training was fantastic. They demonstrated a great deal of enthusiasm to learn about how the G5s could save lives in an emergency situation.”
Want to know more about how AEDs are used in communities?
Whether you live on a rural island or a bustling city, the importance of an AED in a public space and community can mean the difference between life and death. Find out how Cardiac Science Powerheart G5s are well suited for any public space today.