Lifesaving equipment for Edinburgh church

A Church of Scotland congregation has become the first in Edinburgh to install a lifesaving defibrillator as part of the St John and the City project which is aimed at turning ordinary people into First Responders.

The fully automated machine on the front of St David’s Broomhouse Parish Church is available for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Rev Michael Mair
Rev Michael Mair and Lynn Cleal, chair of St John Scotland's Edinburgh committee who is responsible for the defibrillator project.

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Around 3,500 people in Scotland undergo attempted resuscitation each year after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest but currently only around one in 12 survive.

Using a defibrillator alongside CPR can greatly increase survival rates but to be most effective, it needs to be used within the first 3-5 minutes of a person collapsing.

Lifesaving

The congregation was able to purchase the equipment, which analyses pulse and heart rate and gives the user verbal instructions on how to use it, thanks to money left by former Session Clerk, Colin D MacKay MBE, who died two years ago.

It was installed as part of the St John and the City project, which has so far seen more than 110 defibrillators placed across Edinburgh and surrounding areas since 2016.

The charity teaches children as young as five-years-old how to do CPR and use the equipment.

St David's Broomhouse Church
Members of St David's Broomhouse Church in Edinburgh with the defibrillator, which was unveiled on Restart a Heart Day, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of CPR and life-saving techniques.

Rev Michael Mair, minister of St David’s Broomhouse Parish Church, said: “We are very pleased to be able to host this lifesaving machine.

“The Church is at the heart of the community and this forms part of our continued commitment to the health and wellbeing of the people in the parish whom we serve.

“In the Church, we often speak about eternal life so it is great that we now have lifesaving equipment that can help us prolong the life of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest.”

Members of the congregation will monitor the equipment regularly to ensure it is functioning and report any faults to St John Scotland.

First Responders

Lynn Cleal, chair of St John Scotland's Edinburgh committee who spearheaded the project, said: “We are delighted that St David’s Broomhouse Parish Church is hosting a defibrillator.

“It is the first Church of Scotland congregation to do so under our project.

“The equipment is very easy to use and effectively turns everyone into First Responders.

“The more community groups that have this equipment, the more lives can be saved.”

The defibrillator, which cost around £1,500, was unveiled on October 16 which was Restart a Heart Day, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of CPR and life-saving techniques.