Heart-start success will equip Montrose with five defibrillators

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Members of Borrowfield Community Group present their donation to ‘Save a Life Montrose’.

A campaign to provide Montrose with heart-start machines has raised enough to purchase five defibrillators.

The initial £3,000 target was smashed and the small team working on behalf of the town’s Inner Wheel and Rotary clubs are now looking to raise funds for three more.

The drive was launched in August, amid fears Montrose was lagging behind other parts of Angus in terms of providing access to the 24-hour automated external defibrillators.

Spokeswoman Susan Coull said the response had exceeded everyone’s expectations.

“Thanks to the overwhelming response to our Save a Life Montrose project, in just 10 weeks from our launch we now have enough to purchase five AEDs for Montrose and district,” she said.

“The defibrillators will be available for public access 24/7 and will be situated at the Ballhouse, the YM, Borrowfield Community Hall, Hillside Post Office and in Ferryden.”

The funds have been donated by the local community along with a grant raised through crowdfunding with Angus Council and proceeds from a launch event at Taylor’s Auctions.

Jim Easton, bandmaster of Montrose Town Band, made a personal donation following his 90th birthday. Money has also come in from the over 60s exercise class, Montrose Emergency Services Group, all three community councils, Borrowfield Community Group and the Mercantile Golf Club, taking fundraisers to the grand total of £8,000.

Notable mentions also went to Tracy Park, who completed a sponsored 5K a day for 50 days cycle challenge, and Montrose Football Club, which donated proceeds from its annual testimonial match for Bob Mutch, caretaker at Links Park for many years.

AEDs give clear spoken instructions to the user and deliver a high energy electric shock to restart the heart and restore its normal rhythm.

The equipment recognises if a patient requires a shock and can be used without experience but project leaders also hope to provide training for locals.

Each defibrillator, including its special casing designed for outdoor siting, costs around £1,500.

Susan said: “We’re now moving on to raise funds for at least three more AEDs, one for Craigo village and another two for selected sites in Montrose.

“We are fortunate to have been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’sBags of Help initiative.

“Shoppers can vote in the Montrose or Brechin Express stores during November and December to help us secure a Tesco Bags of Help grant.

“Remember a cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone.”