St Andrew’s First Aid equips volunteers in Stornoway with life-saving defibrillators

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More than 1,000 volunteer first aiders across 44 Scottish communities will have access to new life-saving defibrillators (AEDS) thanks to a recent St Andrew’s First Aid programme.

180 new defibrillators were distributed to St Andrew’s First Aid volunteer companies across the country to be used at every public event the charity attends in Scotland. Stornoway received two devices.

This will ensure that members of the public have trained experts on hand should they experience a cardiac arrest emergency and require an AED.

St Andrew’s First Aid, Scotland’s only dedicated first aid charity, purchased the defibrillators at a cost of £180,000 as part of its mission to create a nation of life-savers.

The charity’s volunteers provide first aid cover at more than 2,000 events across the country each year.

These new defibrillators will be distributed to the 44 St Andrew’s First Aid companies across Scotland to replace, but in some cases supplement, the 80 AEDs the charity provided to its volunteer groups in 2011.

Stuart Callison, chief executive of St Andrew’s First Aid, said: “St Andrew’s First Aid are committed to making sure the people of Scotland are kept as safe as possible at any event or community that we have membership in.

“No-one should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it.

“This is a huge investment for the charity, but we believe it is worth every penny to ensure our volunteers are working with the best and most up-to-date equipment available, to allow them to carry out their roles effectively and efficiently.”

The investment is a major step forward for Scotland. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is an important health issue in the country.

Around 3,000 casualties each year will have resuscitation attempted after a sudden cardiac arrest in the community, but only around one in 12 will survive to hospital discharge.

Crucially, events in rural areas of Scotland will benefit from this investment, where ambulance waits are higher and every second counts.

AEDs dramatically improve the chances of a casualty surviving a cardiac arrest, when combined with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The new Lifepak CR2 automated external defibrillators were chosen after a lengthy selection process involving meetings with various manufacturers and field trials with St Andrew’s First Aid volunteers.

The medical working group decided on the Lifepak CR2 based upon its charge time from analysis to shock, size, weight, lifespan of batteries and pads, trainability, ongoing support and facilities management capabilities.

For more information on the charity’s community and volunteer first aid programmes, visit: www.firstaid.org.uk