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St John Scotland Community Defibrillator Project

St John Scotland Community Defibrillator Project

Our Community Defibrillator Project helps provide defibrillators in parts of Scotland where they are most needed.

It gives community groups, charities and similar organisations the opportunity to apply for funding towards a Public Access Defibrillator and heated outdoor box.

Alongside the equipment, we also provide CPR and defibrillator awareness sessions in the community, to help more people be aware of cardiac arrest and how they can help save a life in an emergency.


How it works

  • The project allows community groups, charities and similar organisations to apply for funding towards a Public Access Defibrillator.
  • We set a fundraising target of £1000, and we provide the extra 25% of funding to cover the costs.
  • Applications are assessed on factors like the availability of existing defibrillators in the area, the suitability of the location, and the ability of individuals from the community to maintain the defibrillator.
  • The defibrillator must be registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service so it can be located in an emergency.
  • We favour applications for defibrillators which will be placed outside, in an unlocked box, so they are available in any circumstance. The box will be branded with the St John Scotland logo.
  • The community take ownership of the defibrillator and cabinet and will be responsible for the installation of the cabinet, upkeep of the defibrillator, performing a monthly check and replacing pads and batteries as necessary.
  • Local St John Scotland volunteers will work with your community to organise CPR and defibrillator awareness session once the equipment is in place. Although no training is needed to use the defibrillator, we are keen to help as many people as possible learn CPR and what to do in the event of cardiac arrest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to fit a defibrillator?

To make your defibrillator avaialble to the public, so it can be of maximum benefit to the community, it should be sited in a heated cabinet on the outside of a building. The cabinet must be fitted to a wall or flat surface and have a power supply for heating and lighting. You will be responsible for arranging and paying for installation of the cabinet, although electrcity costs for heating and lighting the cabinet are minimal.

How do we maintain the defibrillator?

Maintaining the defibrillator is easy. You have to report monthly to the Scottish Ambulance Service to confirm the defibrillator remains in working order – this is as simple as checking the battery light remains on, then filling in a form online. The defibrillator pads need to be replaced every two years (or if they are used in an emergency situation), and the battery every three to five years.

We are concerned about theft or vandalism. Can we get a locked box?

Incidences of theft or vandalism of defibrillators are very rare. We believe it is important that communities have quick and easy access to life-saving equipment, so we encourage the use of unlocked cabinets wherever possible.

Do we need planning permission to install a defibrillator?

This depends on the type of building and area the defibrillator is to be sited, but it is generally not needed on unlisted buildings that are not in a conservation area. You are advised to contact your local planning department to check, as we cannot provide detailed advice on this issue.

Will we receive training on how to use the defibrillator?

Modern defibrillators are designed to be used with no training required, so they can be used by any member of the public in an emergency. However, we still find that communities find it helpful to see a demonstration of a defibrillator as part of the CPR awareness training we provide. This helps overcome any uncertainty that people may have about using the device should they ever need to.

What kind of defibrillator is provided?

The model of defibrillator may vary, as we continually review the latest health guidance and work with suppliers to achieve best value for money. The current model we provide is the iPad SP1, manufactured by C U Medical.

Could I hurt someone by using a defibrillator?

A defibrillator will only deliver a shock if the person’s heart is in a “shockable” rhythm. It is impossible to shock someone whose heart is working properly, so you can’t hurt anyone with it. You can’t make things any worse by using a defibrillator – without quick action, the person could die within minutes.


Make an application to our Community Defibrillator Project

To make an application to the St John Scotland Community Defibrillator Project, please fill in this online form.

If you have any questions you would like to discuss first, please get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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