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The defibrillator © Image Supplied

Local 24/7 Public Defibrillator Unveiled

A Penicuik community group has unveiled the town’s first 24/7 public access defibrillator.

Located outside Shottstown Miners Welfare Club on Edinburgh Road, the intervention gives townsfolk instant access, regardless of the time of day, to the lifesaving piece of equipment. Should a medical emergency arise on the street or in buildings nearby, the community can retrieve the defibrillator to use on the affected person.

This milestone for Penicuik was facilitated by Penicuik Community First Responders, a voluntary organisation who respond to emergencies in the locality before the emergency services can reach the scene. However the defibrillator itself was purchased (from using funds raised by the friends and family of the late Alex Young. Local electricians, Alexander’s Electrical, installed the device.

Philip Knight of Penicuik First Responders said:

Immediate defibrillation can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Around 30,000 people suffer an out of hospital cardiac arrest each year After a sudden cardiac arrest the chances of survival falls by around 10% for every minute that passes by without defibrillation. The defibrillator is a life saving piece of equipment used when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

We would like to thank the family and friends of the late Alex Young who raised funds for the defibrillator. Specific mention to Russ Young for his help making this possible along with Frank Martin and the Committee of the Penicuik Miners Club and finally to Alexander’s Electrical who generously gave up their time to install the unit.

The public access defibrillator (PAD) is located in the car park of Shottstown Miners Welfare Club beside the main entrance.

Instructions are provided alongside the device, so it can be used by anyone in a genuine medical emergency.

The exterior casing of the unit is fitted with an alarm to alert others to the removal of the device and to deter from vandalism. An LED will guide the public to the equipment when dark.

This may be the first 24/7 defibrillator in the area but many local businesses also hold a PAD that can be accessed when open. A full list of these can be found here.