Two life-saving heart-start machines have been presented to Gullane Golf Club ahead of the launch of the Scottish Open later this week.
The defibrillators – worth £1500 each – were handed to the club as part of a drive by first aid charity St John Scotland to kit out every course in the country hosting a national event over the next three years.
As well as the vital units – crucial in the moments after a person has suffered a heart attack – training was given to staff members to ensure they know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Yesterday’s hand-over marks the first time a club has received two heart-start devices since the start of the St John Scotland scheme, which is backed by the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association. A total of 21 clubs will benefit from the drive this year, potentially saving thousands of lives.
The Scottish Open – which will be played on Gullane for the first time ever this weekend – is one of the European Tour calendar’s highlights and offers players their last chance to grab a spot in The Open Championship, which will take place on the Old Course at St Andrews later in July.
Gullane secretary David Morton said the club was “delighted” to be presented with the free defibrillators, which will bring the course’s total up to three.
And he revealed the course now had plans to have one installed in each of its clubhouses, as well as one in the greenkeepers’ facility.
This latest defibrillator hand-out follows months of campaigning by the Evening News and the Skinner family, following the death of 13-year-old Jamie Skinner from a cardiac arrest on a Saughton football pitch in 2013.
Sir Malcolm Ross, recently-retired prior of St John Scotland, said: “As one of the country’s leading caring charities, it is our mission to improve the safety, health and quality of life of people in our communities.
“This might include tiny, sick babies in need of specialist care in the ambulance taking them to hospital, the seriously ill person who needs help getting to and from hospital for treatment, or the mountain rescue teams who risk their lives to go to the aid of others.
“Scotland’s golfing community is one of our most vibrant, but the course or the club can feel like a very isolated place to anyone who suffers a heart attack.
“Defibrillators will save lives and we are very proud to be working with the Scottish Golf Union and the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association to supply the equipment and the training which will make all the difference until the medics or paramedics can take over.”
Hamish Grey, chief executive of the Scottish Golf Union, added: “Thanks to the support of St John Scotland, we’re delighted each golf club venue in Scotland hosting a Scottish Golf Union or Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association national championship in 2015 will be gifted a defibrillator. [This] could lead to the saving of lives at Scottish golf courses.”