The historic villages of Town and Kirk Yetholm, popular with the hill and long-distance walking fraternity, have a new claim to fame.
Local residents who care about the folk who visit them or just pass through have installed two automated external defibrillators (AEDs) – one in a weather-proof cabinet outside the Plough Hotel, and the other outside the Border Hotel. AEDs are almost common-place in shopping malls and at airports around the world, but it is only in recent years that their worth has been appreciated in Scotland – especially in rural areas.
If someone goes into cardiac arrest, then every minute they are unconscious means 10 per cent of their life expectancy is gone. That is when local volunteers – trained to carry out CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) until the defibrillator can be applied to shock the heart back into normal fibrillation – become life-savers.
The AEDs idea came from local nurse Pippa Emerson. She contacted the community council where Barbara Paul carried the suggestion forward and persuaded the local community to fund the two machines out of their own pockets.
Barbara explained: “We haven’t sought grants or handouts, but have raised the money ourselves” – in fact they raised £2,950 for the machines and cabinets.
Wilma Gunn, from charity Scottish HART, which supplied the two machines, handed them over to the Yetholm community.
Pictured are, back row, from left, Sue Dickson, David Redpath, Stewart McDonald, Pippa Emerson, Margaret Boyd and Bill Elliot; front, Councillor Simon Mountford, Wilma Gunn, Barbara Paul and Kay Greenhorn.