Equipment boost for Dunbar’s first responders

Vital equipment which could help save a life has been presented to Dunbar Leisure Pool.

The Automated External Defibrillator, which can help with heart attack emergencies, was handed over to the manager Carol Tait by Sandy Mitchell, the secretary of Dunbar First Responders, and Elaine O’Brien, president of Dunbar Rotary Club.

The responders work in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service on a voluntary basis, providing care to patients before the arrival of paramedics.

Mr Mitchell explained: “We respond to around 10 potentially life threatening calls each month and due to our close proximity, can generally arrive at the patient between 5 and 20 minutes before the ambulance. Each of our responders are trained and called out by the ambulance service.

“Dunbar Pool was a logical first choice due to its central location within the town, extended opening hours, high footfall and trained staff. Our eventual goal is to have a number of AED’s in various locations throughout Dunbar, thereby increasing the survival chances of anyone unfortunate enough to suffer a cardiac arrest.”

The responders also train local residents in emergency life support skills using the British Heart Foundation’s ‘HeartStart’ CPR training programme. While CPR can buy time for the victim of a cardiac arrest, it will not restart the heart. This is where an Automated External Defibrillator comes in. For a victim of a cardiac arrest, every minute that passes without defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10 per cent. Early defibrillation is the key to improving survival rates for out of hospital cardiac arrests.

The equipment was funded by a donation from the Rotary Club.

Bill Axon, general manager of enjoyleisure which runs the pool, said: “We are very grateful for the donation of the defibrillator. As a community facility we aim to engage and provide a valued service to the residents and visitors of Dunbar. By having the AED on site we have greatly enhanced the life-saving support and expertise available from our staff to both our customers and members of the general public alike.”