Life-saving link

editorial image

Sheila Campbell, secretary of Crailing, Eckford and Nisbet Community Council, with one of four defibrillators newly-installed locally – three in phone boxes.

They have been purchased following concerns about distance from emergency services and an ageing population, and are sited at Crailing, Eckford, Nisbet and Ulston.

Sheila said: “The presence of the defibrillators will benefit residents in our rural community. Two defibrillators have been placed adjacent to village halls where regular events and activities are held, so these well-used venues are now in close proximity to life-saving equipment.

“We feel the defibrillators will also potentially benefit the many visitors who cycle or walk through the area, and they will also be available for major events such as the Jedburgh Half Marathon and wheelchair race involving around 1,000 competitors.

“The council has been greatly impressed by the community’s response to this initiative with over 30 people already stepping forward to volunteer to learn how to use the defib.”

Training sessions have been carried out by John MacPherson of Cardiac Science, which supplied the defibrillators.

The community council was awarded grants from Scottish Borders Council and Kelso Community Grant Scheme (funded by Sainsbury’s) to buy the equipment from Scottish H.A.R.T (Heart At Risk Testing), a charity set up by Kenneth and Wilma Gunn, of Selkirk, after they lost their son to cardiomyopathy.

All of the units have been placed in weatherproof cabinets and three of them have been installed in red telephone boxes, which the community council adopted from BT three years ago as a place to exchange magazines and provide visitor information.