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Penicuik Community First Responder Team

Local Defibrillator Map Unveiled

A community group is hoping to raise awareness of the vital, lifesaving equipment and where you can find it in the region.

For the first time, a list has been drawn up of where the community can obtain a defibrillator to use on someone who has collapsed from a cardiac arrest.

Eighteen businesses and buildings throughout Penicuik and District have a publicly accessible defibrillator, yet few know where they are or how to use them. To remedy this, a local group of volunteers, Penicuik Community First Responders, took up the task of collating information on the whereabouts of the piece of equipment. Their results, shown on a map below, highlight that many non-medical establishments own a defibrillator including supermarkets, a van sales garage and a public house.

Should someone collapse with a cardiac arrest, it is of great importance that their heart regains a normal rhythm. Following a call to the emergency services (999) and the commencement of chest compressions, a defibrillator can be used to shock the blood-pumping organ back into rhythm. It is very easy to use. The Scottish Ambulance Service’s Community Resuscitation Development Officer, Bryan Finlay states:

The defibrillator gives you clear steps and guidance when it’s needed. The machine makes the decision whether to shock a person or not. All the user needs to do is follow the instructions, apply the pads, and push a button.

Using a defibrillator is a task that the First Responders undertake regularly, as part of their role to deliver a fast response service before an ambulance can reach the scene. On average, the team respond to one critical 999 callout a day, where they can intervene in many medical situations including cardiac arrest, heart or asthma attack and breathing difficulties. They can reach a local emergency in around five minutes.

Now that they have published the locations of defibrillators, the Penicuik Community First Responders are hoping to stress the need for you to understand what to do should someone require CPR or chest compressions. To facilitate this, they are running a number of British Heart Foundation “Heartstart” course at Beeslack Community Heart School. The courses, which are free to attend, are running on the following dates:

  • Monday 8 June at 7.15pm – 9.30pm
  • Wednesday 10 June 2015 at 7.15pm – 9.30pm
  • Saturday 13 June at 10-12.15pm or 2-4.15pm

At the events you will learn key life saving skills including: dealing with an unconscious person; the signs and symptoms of a heart attack; recognising a cardiac arrest and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); dealing with choking and serious bleeding along with a demonstration on how to use a defibrillator. To reserve a place, you can contact Beeslack CHS on 01968 673893 Monday to Friday between 9:30am and 9:30pm.

The First Responders are continually looking for new volunteers. For more information you can contact the Community Education Department at Beeslack CHS using the number above. Alternatively you can visit their tent in ‘Penicuik in the Park’ on Saturday 30 May.