Life-saving defibrillators will be installed across the city in churches, tram stops and community centres as part of an innovative drive to secure the future of the city’s residents.
Lord Provost Donald Wilson has teamed up with the charity St John Scotland to install 20 heart-start machines over the next 12 months, which can be accessed by members of the public in an emergency.
The move has been inspired by our Shockingly Easy campaign, which was launched in 2014 in memory of 13-year-old Jamie Skinner, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while playing football for Tynecastle FC.
The Jamie Skinner Foundation, which is run by his family and friends, has campaigned tirelessly for better provision of the devices which might have saved Jamie’s life.
The project will connect potential donors with sites across the city, while a St John Scotland team member will be responsible for monitoring the device and teaching people how to use it.
Councillor Wilson said: “By making it easy for businesses and people who want to help, this ground-breaking initiative will increase the provision of defibrillators in Edinburgh and install the machines in key sites like community centres, churches, tram and train stops.
“Not only will St John Scotland increase the number of these incredible devices in Edinburgh, but they will make sure the machines are maintained.
“Their volunteers will raise awareness of how simple they are to use so that, eventually, nobody in Edinburgh should need to think twice before using one in an emergency.
“Without a doubt it is thanks to the awareness raising of the Jamie Skinner Foundation that this project exists and that countless lives will be saved.”
When someone goes into cardiac arrest, their heart stops beating completely. Chances of survival diminish quickly unless bystanders perform CPR and a defibrillator is used to shock the heart within five minutes.
Major General Mark J Strudwick, Prior of St John Scotland, said: “I am delighted to see our Edinburgh Committee progress this extremely valuable, lifesaving project for the city to this stage.
“We look forward to garnering support from the local community in Edinburgh to turn this initiative into reality.”
• If you would like information about CPR training go to Save a Life for Scotland