Life-saving defibrillators installed across East Ayrshire

Publication date 30 March 2022

Seven Public Access Defibrillators, which could help save lives in an emergency, have been installed across East Ayrshire. 

A group of people pose with a defibrillator

The devices can help someone in the event of cardiac arrest – when the heart stops beating in a normal rhythm. 

Around 70 people each week in Scotland have a cardiac arrest, but currently, only one in ten survive.  

Starting CPR as quickly as possible, and using a defibrillator where one is available, gives the person the best chance of surviving. 

St John Scotland, in collaboration with East Ayrshire Council and local community groups, have installed the devices as part of their drive to improve survival rates from cardiac arrest. 

Two brand new defibrillators have been installed in Rankinston, at the Community Centre; and in Sinclairston, next to Belston Loch Fishery. 

Four women stand next to a Public Access Defibrillator

A further five defibrillators sited at Council-run Supported Accommodation units, which were previously housed indoors, have been moved into special cabinets on the outside of the buildings. They can now be accessed 24/7 by any member of the public in an emergency.  

As well as helping to provide the defibrillators, local St John Scotland volunteers provided a free training session in Rankinston, to help people learn what to do in an emergency and see a demonstration of the devices. 

A group of people pose with a defibrillator

Jess Duncan, Chair of St John Scotland in Ayrshire and Arran, said: “When someone is in cardiac arrest their heart has stopped working normally, and without action, they could die within minutes. While that can be a frightening prospect, we know that if someone nearby can start CPR while the ambulance is on its way, their chances of surviving dramatically improve.” 

She continued: “If there is a defibrillator within a few minutes’ reach, their chances of surviving are even better. So that’s why we’re keen to work with communities across Ayrshire to not only increase access to defibrillators, but train members of the public in CPR and show them how easy it is to use a defibrillator. You just switch it on and it reads aloud instructions to you.” 

Suzanne Clark, Service Manager, East Ayrshire Council Vibrant Communities said: “We have been working closely with St John Scotland to raise awareness with community groups across East Ayrshire, promoting the opportunity to purchase a defibrillator for installation on the outside of community buildings or move an existing inside defibrillator to the outside, so it can be accessed 24/7. 

“The opportunity to work in partnership with St John Scotland has been a great experience for Vibrant Communities and we will continue this partnership into the future, making connections with our community organisations and other partners. Having defibrillators in local spaces is a great asset to communities and will save lives.” 

All seven defibrillators have been registered on the Circuit, the system used by the Scottish Ambulance Service to direct members of the public to their nearest device in an emergency.  

St John Scotland is keen to support communities across Ayrshire with public access defibrillators and CPR to help save lives. More information can be found on our website.