Public access defibrillators are to be found in increasing numbers of towns and villages across the region, and former Duns physiotherapist Stuart Barton has proved how vital they are.
Now running a clinic and gym in Fife, Stuart was first on the scene when retired firefighter Brian Clarke collapsed in his car outside the gym and stopped breathing.
The alarm was raised and Stuart, formerly a physio for the Scottish rugby union squad and trained in advanced first aid, pulled Brian from his car and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation while someone went to get the defibrillator from outside the gym building.
“I continued doing CPR, and when the defib came, I popped it on his chest. It does the rest,” said Stuart.
Stuart’s CPR efforts managed to successfully restart Brian’s breathing before the arrival of a first responder.
“Without the first shock of a defibrillator, the chances of survival are very slim,” she said. “You have got to receive a shock in the first eight minutes to stand a chance of survival.
“It’s important that bystanders step forward and are willing to use the defibrillators to fill in the crucial minutes before the arrival of the first responders or emergency services.”