Edinburgh bus station installs defibrillator

Jamie Skinner, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in December 2013. Picture: Contributed

Jamie Skinner, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in December 2013. Picture: Contributed

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A HEART-START machine is to be installed at the city’s bus station in a bid to ensure staff and passengers never suffer the terrible fate of teenage footballer Jamie Skinner.

Managers will join senior councillors on Tuesday to unveil the dedicated defibrillator at the St Andrew Square transport hub.

Station staff are also set to be given training in how to use the life-saving equipment, which costs around £1500.

The move comes after months of campaigning by the Evening News and the Skinner family in memory of super-fit Jamie, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while making his debut for Tynecastle FC at Saughton in December 2013.

The popular Liberton High School pupil was just 13 when he lost his life, one of 600 apparently fit and healthy young people who die in the UK each year from undiagnosed heart conditions.

Transport leader Lesley Hinds said the council, which runs the bus station, was pleased to install the defibrillator. And she praised the “marvellous” campaign, led by the Evening News and the Jamie Skinner Foundation, which is pushing for the kit to be available in every Lothian sports centre.

She said: “The bus station is such a busy public place with millions of passengers from all over and now this defibrillator will be there for members of staff or members of the public to use in an emergency.

“These machines have been proven to save lives and the more places that have defibrillators the better. We are happy to play our part in the campaign spearheaded by the News and the family of Jamie Skinner.

“Safety is of utmost importance to the council and it makes sense to install this equipment in such a busy public place. If it is used just to save one life, it will be worth it.”

Moves to provide a defibrillator at the bus station come after we revealed last month how all 23 secondary schools in Edinburgh would be equipped with the technology.

The latest success for the Shockingly Easy campaign has also been hailed by Lord Provost Donald Wilson.

He said: “This is fantastic news for the city and yet another step forward in the Shockingly Easy campaign to have these indispensable life-saving machines installed in central, public places.

“I am determined to see rollouts like this become commonplace in the city and my personal commitment is to raise money for the Evening News’ campaign, and Edinburgh’s One City Trust, by running my first ever marathon in April so that more defibrillators can be purchased.”