A new and potentially vital attraction was added to the latest Montrose Farmers’ Market when visitors were given the chance to learn how to save a life.
The opportunity was arranged following the arrival of five automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in the burgh, representing the successful culmination of almost a year’s fundraising by Montrose Inner Wheel and Rotary Clubs’ Save a Life Montrose project.
St John Scotland First Responders, members of Montrose Emergency Services Group and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service gave demonstrations of how to use the lifesaving equipment.
The day also included a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and AED familiarity course offering a certificate of completion, held by St John Scotland, with all ten vacancies filled.
Each AED and its secure cabinet costs £1,600 and crowdfunding helped the groups secure an Angus Council community grant to reach their target.
Cash came into the Rotary Club and Inner Wheel through personal donations, support from sports and other clubs, money gifted to celebrate special occasions, backing from other charities and events organised by staff of local businesses as well as community councils, the Tesco Bags of Help scheme and donations from GSK, Guthrie Bros and Scotmid Co-op.
“The five AEDs are now in place, to be joined soon by another four or five, so that once this is achieved most people in Montrose, Ferryden, Hillside and Craigo will live within half a mile of an AED,” said a Save a Life project spokesperson.
“The first five are now registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service, and each can be accessed by calling for an ambulance.
“The operator will give the address and security code for the nearest AED, and once the device is attached to the casualty it will give instructions by voice.”
The AEDs are located at the Access Office in the High Street; Southesk Court, Ferryden; Robert Ritchie Hi-Fi; Borrowfield Community Centre and Hillside Post Office.
They are maintained by St John Scotland, a charity which has now been in existence for more than 70 years.
Among its other roles is the operation of patient transport teams in Angus, Tayside, Fife and Perth and Kinross, ensuring people arrive safely and on time for hospital appointments.
In Edinburgh, the St John and the City defibrillator project has seen more than 130 AEDs located across the capital.