Improving access to defibrillators

Four years ago Kintore and District Community Council installed this Scottish Ambulance Service public-access automatic defibrillator (AED) in The Square. Since then there have been more defibrillators installed in premises in Kintore, but most are only available when the premises are open.

Alan Milne, one of our local community responders for the Sandpiper Trust attended Tuesday night’s community council meeting and exhorted the community to provide more publicly-accessible defibrillators.

AED in The Square, Kintore

Defibrillators are proven life savers. When cardiac arrest occurs, it is essential to start CPR within two minutes. Getting the patient on an AED within four to five minutes is said to increase the chance of survival from just 6% to 74%.

Alan Milne explained the background that the Sandpiper Trust ‘Wildcat’ project will be ending in March or April this year and will be amalgamated into the Scottish Ambulance Service response. He explained that there are about half a dozen volunteer responders in the immediate area. Anyone calling with a report of cardiac arrest, heart attack or chest pains will be notified to these responders.

But, inevitably, it takes time for emergency response to get to a patient. In the absence of a professional it could be down to you to save a life. That’s why having AEDs at strategic locations around Kintore is so important – so that you could potentially run and collect one to provide the necessary help.

The technology in AED’s is amazing. The AED talks the user through the whole process, assesses the patient and only administers a shock if one is actually needed. Watch the video below and see how easy it would be to potentially save a life, should you ever encounter someone who has suffered cardiac arrest.

Alan pointed out that Kintore is woefully under supplied with just one AED, when you look at a small village like Johnshaven, which has three.

At the suggestion of community council treasurer, Kenny Thomson, the community council agreed that “as a statement of intent” that the community council commit to buying two defibrillators. A sub-group from the community council is due to meet next week to see how additional AEDs can be financed and to look at suitable locations.

This may require some fund-raising. But, as Alan Milne pointed out, Kintore really reached deep into its pockets to buy the new Christmas lights. Hopefully, the community would do that again to provide life-saving equipment around our town. And AEDs are not that expensive when you consider their potential to save lives. They cost in the region of £1,300.

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