A campaign to have a life-saving defibrillator installed at a police station for public use is gathering support from a community.
Lifeguard Norrie Brown (57) and first aid instructor Victoria O’Neill (39), who is also a First Responder, want to install a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) at the police station in Maddiston to increase the chances of someone who suffered a heart attack surviving.
Defibrillators can be the difference between someone living or dying if they had a cardiac arrest in the street. Survival rates jump from six to 75 per cent if a ‘shock’ from a defibrillator is administered within three minutes.
If a defibrillator is in place in a community, anyone calling 999 would be given its location and asked to use it.
Norrie, from Maddiston, said: “We are very keen to have a defibrillator in a central location in Maddiston and Victoria and myself will give free regular qualified training on its use to anyone in Maddiston who wants to learn.
“We need to raise funds to make this happen and have already received amazing support so far and hope the whole community gets behind this.”
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Maddiston Golf Club, Maddiston Community Council and local police officers have all shown support with the fire service chipping in with £200 of the £1000 cost.
A fundraising night has been organised in Polmont Masonic Lodge on Saturday, September 26.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) runs the Nation of Lifesavers Community Package provides defibrillators and support.
Barbara Osborne, head of community fundraising at BHF Scotland, said: “We’re delighted that this life saving equipment will be available in Falkirk, and congratulate everyone in the community who helped raise the funds for it so far. It could really be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.”
The UK Resuscitation Council suggests that a defibrillator device should be available wherever emergency help is more than five minutes away and every second counts in life or death situations.
Following a heart attack or cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces survival by 10 per cent.
Defibrillators are simple, safe and easy to use – you don’t need training and it will not operate unless it determines a need.
The frequency of cardiac arrest in the UK suggests there is a reasonable probability that every defibrillator will be used at least once within two years. Due to response times, defibrillation is almost 10 times more effective in saving lives than just having a First Responder Scheme.