Campaign launched to fund 24/7 defibrillator in Stenhousemuir town centre

A charity has launched a fundraising drive with the hope of setting up a 24/7, community-owned defibrillator in the “heart” of Stenhousemuir.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 18th June 2021, 4:46 pm

Keeping Larbert and Stenhousemuir Beautiful (KLSB) is asking residents and town businesses to help generate the £2070 required to pay for the life-saving equipment.

Once bought, the group would base the defibrillator inside Stenhouse TOA Taxis’ office in Main Street for easy access, should it be needed in an emergency.

KLSB members had been planning the fundraising push for a few weeks and ultimately decided to press ahead as quickly as possible after watching Danish footballer Christian Eriksen suffer a cardiac arrest during his nation’s opening Euro 2020 match.

Keeping Larbert and Stenhousemuir Beautiful members are appealing for donations to fund a 24/7, community-owned defibrillator. Picture: Michael Gillen.

The device, which gives a high-energy electric shock to the heart, helped to save the 29-year-old’s life after he slumped to the turf as Denmark faced Finland.

While the Stenhousemuir area already boasts two defibrillators, KLSB feels the lack of an all-hours piece of equipment must be addressed.

John McMorran, the charity’s chairman, said: “What happened to Christian Eriksen brought it to the forefront.

“The incident spurred us on even more. Eriksen was very fortunate because if there wasn’t a defibrillator at hand, it could’ve been a lot worse for him.

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“It showed me what I already knew: the sooner you get these pieces of equipment to someone having an attack, the better. That’s why we wanted to get it in the heart of the community.

“We have one at Day-Today in Alloa Road but that’s still a fair distance away. There’s one in the Dobbie Hall but it closes at 5pm and we wanted to make it public 24/7.

“The problem we had wasn’t getting funds together, it was where to situate it. I appreciate we can get outdoor cabinets that are vandal-proof but we wanted somewhere we could have an eye on it 24/7.

“It was after a chat with one of the committee members who works with Stenhouse TOA Taxis that they offered a space in their waiting room. It’ll be in a small alarmed cabinet.

“The money’s going to allow us to purchase a state of the art defibrillator that’s fully automatic.

“Anyone who’s never had any CPR training can use it. It tells you when to do chest pumps and speed up or slow down, then it’ll monitor the heart and if it needs to give somebody an electric shock, it tells you to stand back.

“The money will also be used to buy a cabinet, a back-up battery and spare pads because once you use them you can’t use them again.

“Because we’re a charity now, we can accept Gift Aid. My next point is asking local businesses if they’d like to donate.

“You can go to the government or other agencies and get partial funding, or even rent them for £1 a day, but what we wanted to do is let the community buy it so it’s theirs.

“It gives them a wee bit of pride to say they got it, rather than it was handed to them.”

KLSB has vowed to cover any maintenance costs for the defibrillator going forward.

John added: “We’ll also be inviting locals and local businesses for a training session on CPR so people don’t freeze if something does happen.”

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