New life-saving defibrillators installed in Ballantrae and New Cumnock

Two new public access defibrillators have been installed in Scotmid Ballantrae and New Cumnock to help save lives in the local community, as part of a national partnership between Scotmid Co-operative and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Store staff have been trained by the Scottish Ambulance Service to use the defibrillator and to perform resuscitation, equipping them with the skills they need to save the life of a person suffering from cardiac arrest.

A defibrillator is a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock to restart during cardiac arrest. Scotmid Co-operative was the first UK retailer to put defibrillators in a large number of its stores. 42 Scotmid and Semichem branches are now equipped with the life-saving machines, with more to be rolled out in the coming months.

Nicola Watters, Store Manager at Scotmid Ballantrae said: “We are really pleased to have the defibrillator in our store. Ballantrae is a tourist hot spot but is quite isolated, so the defibrillator will be a great comfort for the local community to know it’s there in case we ever need to use it.”

Sharon McClounie, Store Manager at Scotmid New Cumnock said: “The training was fantastic and very useful, as our team previously didn’t know how to perform CPR.  We all feel ready to help our customers and other people in the area in an emergency. ”

Mandy Whiteford and Jenna McDicken from Scotmid New Cumnock.

Mandy Whiteford and Jenna McDicken from Scotmid New Cumnock

Daren Mochrie, Director of Service Delivery, Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “The roll out of this public access defibrillator programme will make a positive contribution to safer and sustainable communities around the country.  While we have world class ambulance response times in Scotland, we know that in cardiac cases every second counts and that equipping communities with basic life-saving skills and equipment will further improve survival rates.”

Scotmid Co-operative has been working with the Scottish Ambulance Service since 2011 to install public access defibrillators in the communities in Scotland that need them most. This includes remote communities where it may take longer for an ambulance to reach, places where there are high instances of cardiac arrest and areas of high footfall. The Scottish Ambulance Service has also provided over 500 hours of training to over 250 Scotmid staff as part of the project.

Acting quickly when someone is in cardiac arrest is crucially important – every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces survival by 10%. A defibrillator can increase the chance of survival by 50%.

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