Lifesaving devices installed at four more Edinburgh police stations

The defibrillators. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
The defibrillators. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
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Defibrillators have been installed at four further police stations across Edinburgh to improve access to emergency life-saving treatment.

The vital pieces of equipment are designed to be used by any untrained person with the machine only providing a shock if one is required.

Defibrillators have been available at both St Leonards Police Station and Gayfield Police Station for a number of years, having been provided by the charity St John Scotland as part of their Edinburgh-wide St John and the City defibrillator project.

The project has helped install more than 120 defibrillators across the city and surrounding areas, helping Edinburgh be ready to act to save lives from cardiac arrest.

As part of ongoing mapping work carried out by St John Scotland, it was established that further provision of these devices was required within other areas of the Capital, and four new stations were identified to become hosts.

Lynn Cleal, who leads the St John and the City project on behalf of St John Scotland, said: “The four new defibrillators hosted at police stations across Edinburgh will be a great asset to these local communities.

“We know that every year, around 350 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the area within Edinburgh bypass.

“Having quick access to these defibrillators could make a significant difference to a person’s chances of survival, so we’re thrilled that Police Scotland have agreed to host them for the benefit of everyone in these local areas.”

Between January and April 2019, installation of the defibrillators took place within public front counter areas at Craigmillar Police Station, Howdenhall Police Station, Drylaw Police Station and Wester Hailes Police Station.

All of the new defibrillators are now completely operational and are logged on a special database, which provides information to emergency service control rooms as to the location of the nearest device.

Constable Martyn Coulter from Police Scotland said: “It is an undisputed fact that access to a defibrillator can be the difference between life and death for a person in need of treatment and we are delighted to host four new devices at our Craigmillar, Howdenhall, Drylaw and Wester Hailes Police Stations.

“The work undertaken by the St John and the City project to provide defibrillators to various hubs and ensure they are maintained cannot be understated, and we are incredibly grateful for their support.”

The installations come after the Evening News’s “Shockingly Easy” campaign which saw the city council shell out £70,000 to equip each high school in the Capital with a defibrillator.

The campaign, which was launched in 2014 in memory of teenage footballer Jamie Skinner, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while playing for Tynecastle FC in December 2013.

Locations such as The Castle, Scott Monument and the city’s trams have since also been fitted with one of the crucial devices.

kieran.murray@jpimedia.co.uk