Comment: Life-saving investment is welcome

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TODAY’S investment by the city council which will see new defibrillators for every high school in Edinburgh could not be more welcome.

As anyone who has been following the Shockingly Easy campaign in the Evening News knows, the heart-start machines really are life-saving.

They are simple to use, safe and relatively cheap to buy.

There seems little reason why they should not be available across our communities and become a common sight not just in sports centres but on every high street.

The move by the city council is a great step towards this.

While our campaign is seeking to equip every sport and leisure club in Edinburgh and the Lothians with defibrillators, this will fill a vital gap.

And in case you were in any doubt as to the need for them in a building full of healthy young people then you only need remember the reason for this drive.

Jamie Skinner was an apparently healthy teenage boy doing what he loved that tragic day in December 2013.

He collapsed and died on the football field with no warning.

A defibrillator was available but tragically was not used.

Part of the Shockingly Easy campaign is raising awareness and ensuring that people have the correct training to use the machine when necessary.

We are sure this will accompany the planned roll-out into city secondary schools.

Some of the new school defibrillators may never be used – in fact, we hope they are never needed.

But if the worst did happen, the knowledge that they are there and the confidence to put them to use quickly and effectively is vital.

The person in need of a lifesaver may be a pupil, a teacher, visitor or a member of a sports club using the school facilities. It could happen at any time.

Thanks to this investment by the city council, in the future anyone could be that lifesaver.