An undertakers might be the last place you’d expect to find a defibrillator but in Carstairs one of Clydesdale’s veteran funeral directors decided his business, in the centre of the village, was the ideal place for one
Head of the family firm Ian Brown bought and installed the life-saving apparatus outside the company garage for the use of the general public, a gesture much appreciated in a community with a high proportion of elderly folk.
Said his daughter and business partner Elizabeth Brown: “We are trying to get the information shared with the community to let people know it is available in an emergency and also how to access it.”
In the meantime, elsewhere in Clydsesdale various communities have or are installing these machines to help preserve heart attack victims until professional help arrives.
Lanark Community Council duscussed the burgh’s defibrillator network at its latest meeting. Some said that they had been re-assured by a recent talk from Scottish Ambulance Service representatives who had explained that they had a ‘map’ of where the town’s machines were placed so they could radio ahead to the scene of an emergency for the nearest machine to be used by even untrained members of the public until an ambulance arrives.
The town was also covered by trained volunteer First Responders, based at the Lockhart Hospital on Whitelees Road.
One community council member who asked if any member of the public unsuccessfully using a defibrillator was leaving themselves at risk of being sued was re-assured that any attempt to save a life was protected by law from any such legal action.
In the meantime, Carnwath Community Council is currently fundraising to buy a public defibrillator for the village.