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Double defibrillators for Cramond - St John Scotland

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Boardwalk Beach Club Cafe owner, Eddie Tait (left) with defibrillator donor Michael Pinkerton
Boardwalk Beach Club Cafe owner, Eddie Tait (left) with defib donor Michael Pinkerton

A café and boat club in Cramond, near Edinburgh, have become the latest venues to install life-saving defibrillators as part of the St John and the City Public Access Defibrillator project.

A defibrillator for the Boardwalk Beach Club café was funded by father-of-two Michael Pinkerton, who survived a cardiac arrest three years ago. Michael collapsed with undiagnosed cardiomyopathy while at a veterinary surgery, but was saved by a quick thinking member of staff who performed CPR, and paramedics who used a defibrillator four times to shock his heart back into action.

Michael was lucky – his chances of survival were around one in 20. Since his experience, he has wanted to give more people the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest, and through fundraising efforts has gone on to raise more than £5,000 – enough to fund four defibrillators across the city.

Michael said: “I’m delighted that some of the money I’ve raised has been able to fund a life-saving defibrillator for the Boardwalk Café – an ideal location given how many people cycle, run or walk past each day. The St John and the City project is all about getting as many of these as possible installed in public places – giving someone suffering a cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival.” 

The café is a well-placed location for a defibrillator, as every Saturday the Promenade sees up to 500 runners take part in the Edinburgh Parkrun 5k. Sadly, late last year a runner collapsed near the café having suffered a cardiac arrest, and despite staff, race stewards and other runners rushing to help, was unable to be revived.

Boardwalk Beach Club Café owner, Eddie Tait, said: “The café is quite isolated as we’re away from other buildings on the promenade. After the incident with the runner last year I was keen to get a defibrillator installed, so I’m delighted we’ve been able to make it happen, thanks to the St John and the City project, and Michael’s generous donation. I hope we’ll never need to use it, but it’s good to know it’s there should we need it in an emergency.”

St John Scotland Edinburgh Area Fundraising Chair, Lynn Cleal, with the Cramond Boat Club defibrillator

Meanwhile a second defibrillator, donated by Philips/Laerdal, has been installed at Cramond Boat Club at the west end of the Promenade.

Vice Commodore at Cramond Boat Club, Douglas Pringle, said: “We’re really pleased to host a Public Access Defibrillator as part of St John and the City. Having one at this end of the promenade means Cramond now has good coverage, as people are able to use it even when the building is closed as it’s publicly accessible outside. Using a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death for someone who’s had a cardiac arrest, so they’re really important.”

You can read more about the St John and the City project on the website: http://stjohnandthecity.org.uk/

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