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Six new ways to save life; FIRST AID MOVE.

Byline: Chris Marzella

New life-saving defibrillators have been installed at key Stirling Council buildings.

The portable and lightweight devices, which can deliver an electric shock, are used to help resuscitate those suffering cardiac arrest.

They can be operated by anyone and dramatically improve chances of survival. Using one within three to five minutes of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 75 per cent.

Six defibrillators have been placed externally on council buildings, one each at Old Viewforth, Tolbooth Theatre, Raploch Campus, Lower Polmaise, Municipal Buildings and Teith House.

They will be available for staff, visitors and members of the public to use in an emergency.

Councillor Danny Gibson, chair of the council's health and safety panel, said: "The safety of our staff and the public is vital and that's why we invested in this equipment. These defibrillators are safe and easy to use and can dramatically increase the chances of survival, and I'm delighted that they are now in place in the area."

To increase visibility and for protection, the devices have been fitted in bright yellow cabinets, while a thermostatic heater will optimise their condition.

Council staff sought guidance from the Scottish Ambulance Service on where best to place the life-saving equipment.

The devices are also included on the service's public access register.

A motorcyclist whose life was saved by a portable defibrillator in Thornhill two years ago has praised the scheme.

Alex Wilson, of Lasswade, near Edinburgh, suffered a cardiac arrest while on a weekend outing with the Scottish branch of Moto Guzzi Club GB.

Alex said: "If it wasn't for one of these defibrillators, I wouldn't be here today, so I'm delighted Stirling Council have installed these devices on their buildings."

Gordon Smith, area services manager for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "A cardiac arrest can strike anywhere and at any time, so we welcome this announcement.

"These defib kits are really easy to use, without any training needed. If anyone is ever in the position of having to use one, you just press the 'on' button and the machine will talk you through what to do, step by step."

The council's defibrillators have been added to Trossachs Search and Rescue mobile app which allows members of the public to easily locate them, saving valuable time in an emergency.

Stuart Ballantyne, chairman of Trossachs SAR said: "We have been placing defibrillators in partnership with communities and businesses for five years . "And so far, we have seen 12 people's lives saved - each by members of the public using these devices.

"Training in performing CPR and use of defibrillators is beneficial, however, and we would recommend people attend such a course, for the purpose of improving their skills and taking some of the fear out of dealing with an incident."

Stirling Council's Health and Safety Panel gave the green light for funding the initiative following submissions from trade unions.

Councillor Douglas Dodds said: "It's important that the council ensure these defibrillators are available to staff and the wider public. Considerable investment will be needed to ensure comprehensive coverage across the entire council area.

"I expect the council to make every effort to move this forward and supplement the great work already carried out by Trossachs Search & Rescue."

The defibrillators are managed and monitored by the council's health and safety team who carry out monthly checks.

To access the defibrillators in an emergency call 999, and the operator will provide the access code.

CAPTION(S):

Welcomed From left UNISON branch officers Ewan Grant and Abigail Robertson, Karen Palmer of Scottish Ambulance Service, Councillor Danny Gibson, Alex Wilson, Stuart Ballantyne of Trossachs SAR, Norman McLeod, Team Leader for Corporate Compliance Health and Safety and Maureen Wilson
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Publication:Stirling Observer (Stirling, Scotland)
Date:Oct 24, 2018
Words:617
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