Fortrose Fire Station unveils public access defibrillator

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SFRS officers join local woman Caroline Cumming who raised the funds to buy the life-saving device

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A public access defibrillator has been installed at Fortrose Fire Station near Inverness to help save the lives of people who suffer a cardiac arrest.
 
The devices deliver a high energy electric shock to restore a stable heart rhythm.
 
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) officers teamed-up with Caroline Cumming to make the easy-to-use machine available for the area.
 
Her fundraising efforts have so-far generated more than £2,000 to buy the device with Highland’s senior SFRS officer, Scott Hay, agreeing to fund the powered box needed to store it securely outdoors.
 
It comes as firefighters throughout the country help people to learn CPR and gain the skills and confidence that could see them save the life of a loved-one. 
 
Station Manager Ricky Dibble explained: “When someone has a cardiac arrest immediate intervention is crucial to their chances of survival.
 
“It happens to around 3,500 people in Scotland every year but only one in 20 live to return home, so we want to encourage everyone to come forward and learn how to perform CPR.
 
“The technique can keep oxygen circulating around the person’s body until medics arrive, but most people who are saved will also have needed a shock from a defibrillator at some point in the chain of survival.
 
“The earlier that is given the better so we were delighted when Caroline asked if the station could host the device she acquired for the community.” 
 
Defibrillators are safe and simple to use – with the devices giving clear spoken instructions and only delivering a shock where one is needed.
 
Caroline, 38, decided to try to raise the money for the machine after her dad’s Rotary Club did likewise for their community of Pittlochrie.
 
She said: “I thought these things should just be everywhere.  The British Heart Foundation provided a grant and I set-up an online fundraising account.
 
“I made up some posters and held a soup suite event, the local cadet group did a sponsored walk and of course the fire service stepped forward to provide the box.
 
“People in the community have been very generous and the money kept coming in – so we’ve so far raised over £1,000 towards another defibrillator, which might go to the village of Rose Markie.”
 
SFRS is supporting the British Heart Foundation’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign and the Save a Life for Scotland campaign by the Scottish Government.
 
Both aim to equip the public to intervene to dramatically improve survival rates among people who suffer a cardiac arrest and anyone who would like to learn CPR is encouraged to contact their local fire station.
 
Further information is available at www.savealife.scot and www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/nation-of-lifesavers

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