Shockingly Easy: Capitals can keep cool in crisis

Edinburgh Capitals players Everett Sheen and Nate Flemmingwith the defibrillator. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Edinburgh Capitals players Everett Sheen and Nate Flemmingwith the defibrillator. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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AN ice hockey team has made a cool move towards tackling the scourge of cardiac arrest by installing a life-saving defibrillator.

The Edinburgh Capitals have equipped Murrayfield Ice Rink with a new heart-start machine to ensure the safety of players, staff and visitors to the 3000-capacity venue.

The vital device – which is worth around £1500 – was donated by the Central Bar, in Leith Walk, run by Edinburgh-based pub company Breken Inns.

The move places the team in good company as sports clubs, offices and public transport hubs have taken on defibrillators in the wake of our Shockingly Easy campaign. The Evening News teamed up with the family of 13-year-old footballer Jamie Skinner, who tragically died following a fatal cardiac arrest in December 2013.

Kenny Mclean, Breken Inns managing director, said: “We have been involved in the sponsorship of Edinburgh Capitals for years and years, with jerseys, helmets and all sorts.

“I knew there wasn’t a defibrillator at the club so I came forward and suggested we get one.

“I’d read about the laddie who sadly died in the Evening News and I wanted to help. A few of my friends had had cardiac problems as well so I knew it was important.”

The chance of surviving a cardiac arrest drops by ten to 20 per cent for every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation, according to the British Heart Foundation.

Backing the campaign, Mr McLean, of Murrayfield, added: “It would be good if they could have them everywhere in these big venues as it’s a safety valve for everyone.”

The Capitals were one of the first to back our Christmas appeal, where well-known faces pledged to support the drive to ensure heart-start machines are placed in every sports club in Lothian.

The generous donation was welcomed by Scott Neil, manager of Edinburgh Capitals, who said the device was being stored in the rink so it can be used by anyone.

He said: “They knew we had been looking at getting one but we needed sponsorship to help. It’s fantastic to have one that everyone can use.”

Scott, a retired ice hockey player, added: “Anything that goes towards improving the safety of the team and the spectators has got to be a good step forward. It’s one of those things that you never know when something like that might be required to save someone’s life.”

The Skinner family established the Jamie Skinner Foundation (JSF) in the wake of his tragic death, and it has already purchased defibrillators for a string of clubs including Edinburgh South Football Club, Sighthill Bowling Club and St Bernard’s Football Club.

Funding is available from the JSF to helps clubs purchase a device.

lizzy.buchan@edinburghnews.com