Defibrillator is lifesaver for Wigtown

The British Heart Foundation has donated a defibrillator for use in Wigtown.

The Wigtown Partnership for Health has been working over the last year to obtain a defibrillator for use in Wigtown and is delighted to have confirmation that these plans are to go ahead.

The British Heart Foundation advocates that when a person suffers a cardiac arrest being near to someone who knows life-saving skills and to a defibrillator could mean the difference between life and death. A defibrillator gives the heart a controlled electric shock during cardiac arrest.

For every minute that passes without defibrillation chances of survival decrease by about 10 percent.

In addition to CPR, giving a controlled shock within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chance of survival. The British Heart Foundation have helped place 11,000 defibrillators in various communities since 1996, and more than 30 lives have been saved by this technique.

Wigtown is a busy small town, especially during the holiday seasons and during book festival times. In addition, the rural location and the large elderly population of Wigtown make it an ideal position for a defibrillator site.

As every second counts in an emergency, access to lifesaving equipment could be imperative.

The location of the defibrillator has not yet been decided. The two sites proposed are on the outside wall of the county buildings or on the outside wall of the GP surgery. The defibrillator will be clearly visible and housed in a specially made unlocked box that will sound an alarm when opened.

The defibrillator is for the use of the whole community and training will be provided by the ambulance service. It is the hope that local people and groups within the community will join in with the training on Tuesday the 29th of April at 7pm in the County Buildings. Local Paramedic Dennis McGinn will be assisting with the training and will carry out updates regularly.

A spokesperson from the Partnership said: ‘We are thrilled to have the defibrillator sited within Wigtown. It is a fantastic prospect for the town and a great opportunity for people to learn life saving skills and make a difference if the worst was to happen.

“We at the Partnership hope it provides comfort knowing that help is a bit closer to hand. We hope to see a big turn-out at the training evening and encourage as many people to come along as possible!”

To participate in the training on the 29th of April and learn how the defibrillator works please contact Aileen Sutherland on 07595977445.