Golf Clubs across Scotland are to receive 22 more life-saving defibrillators from national charity St John Scotland, including Stranraer.
After a unique deal was struck in January 2015 to offer a defibrillator free to each of the golf club venues for Scottish Golf national championships — as well as offering defibrillator training in advance of each event — 20 units were supplied to clubs up and down the country by St John Scotland.
Now the charity has committed to supply a further 22 units and training to selected clubs this year.
Among the clubs to benefit in 2015 were Drumpellier, Dundas Parks, Fortrose & Rosemarkie, Moray Old, Powfoot, Tulliallan and Strathmore Golf Centre. Gullane was also gifted two defibrillators before the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July.
Stranraer GC, who will host the Scottish Club Championship in September, is among the clubs to benefit in 2016.
St John Scotland, formed in 1947, is a Scottish charity dedicated to helping others through medical and rescue activities across Scotland and abroad. Through their support, better availability of defibrillators, and the necessary training, could lead to the lives of golfers across the country being saved.
Each year 100,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK, causing more deaths than lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDs combined. CPR and early defibrillation with an AED (automated external defibrillator) can increase sudden cardiac arrest survival from 5% to over 50%.
The importance of defibrillators was brought into sharp focus in August 2013 when the former Ryder Cup captain, Bernard Gallacher, collapsed during a dinner at a hotel on the outskirts of Aberdeen. Gallacher had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and it was only thanks to the hotel’s defibrillator and the immediate action of trained staff that he survived, before going on to make a full recovery.
Major General Mark Strudwick, the 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 may 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 Scottish Golf 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 Scottish Golf, added: “Thanks to the continued support of St John Scotland, we’re delighted each golf club venue in Scotland hosting a Scottish Golf national championship in 2016 will be gifted a defibrillator.
“The outcome will be significant cost-savings for golf clubs, positive golf club and community engagement and, above all else, could lead to the saving of lives at Scottish golf courses.”