Seagull Trust Cruises, based in Ratho on the ouskirts of Edinburgh, has unveiled four new life-saving defibrillators on their barges.
The charity offers free canal trips to people with additional needs throughout the summer, on fully accessible boats. Now they will be fully equipped to act in an emergency, with their own defibrillators on board.
Three of the defibrillators will be available to be taken on boats when they are in service, while the fourth has been installed in a cabinet on the outside wall of the Seagull Trust Cruises Office, Canalside Ratho, and is available for community use 24/7.
Jim Bruce, Lead Skipper of Tuesday Crew, who raised over £4,500 to purchase the defibrillators, said that the charity were keen to install the life-saving devices: “70% of our passengers are elderly, as well as the Trust’s 135 volunteers. Last year we carried 6,500 passengers on 750 cruises.”
The life-saving pieces of kit have been installed as part of our St John and the City project, which has so far seen more than 120 defibrillators made available across the city.
The defibrillators work by delivering an electric shock to the heart of someone who has gone into sudden cardiac arrest. With around 70 people each week in Scotland having a cardiac arrest, the devices – when used alongside CPR – can make a significant difference to a person’s chances of survival.
St John Scotland visited the Seagull Trust centre earlier this month to train the volunteers in CPR and demonstrate how to use the defibrillator – although the devices can be used by anyone with no prior training required.
Lynn Cleal, who runs the St John and the City project on behalf of St John Scotland, said: “It’s great that Seagull Trust have decided to provide these potentially life-saving devices for use on their boat trips. More and more communities are becoming aware of the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and that there is a lot that can be done – by learning CPR and having defibrillators available – to improve survival rates. We hope in a way that the defibs never need to be used, but it’s great to know that they are there for the benefit of all the passengers and volunteers at Seagull Trust, and indeed people in Ratho and anyone who enjoys the canals nearby who may need the use of one, one day.”