Forfar defibrillator to be accessible 24/7

Members of Forfar community council and Forfar Rotary were pictured on Tuesday evening at the Fire Station prior to a CPR demonstration given by training officer Steven Nicoll (left) and watch manager Roy King.
Members of Forfar community council and Forfar Rotary were pictured on Tuesday evening at the Fire Station prior to a CPR demonstration given by training officer Steven Nicoll (left) and watch manager Roy King.

Forfar folk have been invited to take part in a life-saving training course to coincide with the installation of the first public access defibrillator in the town.

A joint initiative between Forfar Community Council, Forfar Rotary Club and ANGUsalive has resulted in the life-saving equipment being installed at the Buttermarket.

While similar pieces of equipment are available throughout the town, not all are accessible to the public 24/7.

Ian Whyte, chairman of Forfar Community Council, explained this was the first of five which will be positioned at compass points in the town. The cabinet at the Buttermarket has a code which the Scottish Ambulance Service have on record; when 999 is called and the location stated, the code will be given.

Ian said: “I was asked in June 2016 by James Gray-Cheape of Forfar Rotary and Scottish Air Ambulance whether the town had a defibrillator.

“Rotary were thinking of funding one, that’s how the mission started. I started asking, then checking, then going to every potential venue to find how many defibrillators Forfar might have. My count ended up at 30!

“I produced a map and list with opening times and contacts and circulated the information back to defib locations.

“What became obvious was that if you have a heart attack after 5pm, there was, at best, very limited access to any one of the 30.

“I realised public access defibs were the way forward, five well-placed 24-hour machines would be much better than 25 machines locked in office buildings.”

Ian discussed his vision with Forfar Rotary Club to suggest they look to fund an outdoor defib cabinet as opposed to buying a machine.

He also spoke with the Angus Cardiac Group, contacted Angus Council and ANGUSalive about machines and possible locations, as well as BT.

He continued: “ANGUSalive supplied the defibrillator, transferred from the Meffan; Forfar Rotary purchased the outdoor heated cabinet, Angus Council sited, fitted and maintain power to the cabinet and Forfar Community Council are the ‘custodians’ of the machine, being responsible for monthly battery checks etc.”

Thanks go to David Wardhaugh, Scott Ballantyne of Forfar Rotary, Ian Cochrane of Angus Council, Jeannette Gaul of ANGUSalive, Forfar Community Council, Jo McColgan of the Grekin Clinic and Angus Cardiac Group.

The training session takes place this Saturday (April 8) from 9 am- noon at the Plough in Market Street. Details from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cpr-aed-training-tickets-33167200991