State-of-the-art defibrillator set to keep Selkirk’s hearts beating

Standing, from left: volunteer life-saver Caroline Penman, senior resuscitation officer at NHS Borders, Rod McIntosh; Rotarians Jim McPherson and Ferdous Ahmed; Carolyn Philipps from The County Hotel; Rotarians Carol Byres, Lina Purvis, Eileen Easton and Adam Borwick. Sitting: Kenneth Gunn, Wilma Gunn and Rotarian Graeme Easton.
Standing, from left: volunteer life-saver Caroline Penman, senior resuscitation officer at NHS Borders, Rod McIntosh; Rotarians Jim McPherson and Ferdous Ahmed; Carolyn Philipps from The County Hotel; Rotarians Carol Byres, Lina Purvis, Eileen Easton and Adam Borwick. Sitting: Kenneth Gunn, Wilma Gunn and Rotarian Graeme Easton.

One of the first Scottish Heart at Risk Testing defibrillators to be installed in the Borders was put in place in Selkirk High Street around 12 years ago.

Based at Rogerson’s, the former newsagent’s, it served the town well, being deployed several times to save lives.

However, that machine has now been replaced by an automated external defibrillator as part of the public access defibrillation scheme, which is ever more popular in the drive to increase the survival rate from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Last Wednesday evening, one of the latest models, a Cardiac Science G5, was handed over by Scottish HART to the County Hotel in High Street.

Also on hand were members of the Rotary Club of Selkirk, who not only funded the first machine in 2002 but also have paid for the upgrade which is now live and ready for use at one of Selkirk’s oldest hostelries.

The County has recently changed hands, now being owned by the Breakspear-Smith/Philipps family.

Wilma Gunn, who started Scottish HART as a charity in 1997 after her son Cameron died on a sports field at the age of 19, handed the town’s latest defibrillator over to the president of the Rotary club, Jim McPherson, before he presented the cheque to pay for the unit.