New public life-saver by order of St John

St John Scotland's David Niven, left, and Marjory McLachlan presenting the cheque to Norrie Brown
St John Scotland's David Niven, left, and Marjory McLachlan presenting the cheque to Norrie Brown

Another life-saving public defibrillator will be placed in the Braes area thanks to a charity dedicated to global health causes.

St John Scotland – which is committed to placing public access defibrillators (PADs) around Scotland – presented a cheque for the cost of one of the units, £756, to the Maddiston Community Defibrillator Project.

The project, spearheaded by lifeguard Norrie Brown (57), who lives in the village, and first aid instructor Victoria O’Neill (39), who is also a First Responder, and has already placed one of the life-saving devices at Maddiston police station.

PADs 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 said: “This is an amazing act of generosity from a great organisation. This means now we will be making plans to install our second public access defibrillator in our local community.”

As a Priory of the worldwide Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, St John Scotland can trace its history and traditions back to the time of the Crusades, but today its members concentrate their work on modern services and issues and supports a range of live-saving and medical support to the community, including patient transport and first responder services.

It is the biggest contributor to Mountain Rescue in Scotland, having donated £3 million over the past two decades for the purchase of 14 bases throughout the country and a rolling programme of buying and replacing vehicles for all 25 volunteer teams.

Internationally, St John Scotland supports the St John Eye Hospital Group in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, and health care projects in Malawi.