East Dunbartonshire Council to significantly increase level of defibrillators across the area
East Dunbartonshire Council is to significantly expand the number of defibrillators accessible to the public in the event of cardiac arrest.
The number of devices will be increased from 18 to to 83, and a public consultation showed widespread support for most of the proposed locations. Feedback also saw additional sites being added to this list, including Southbank House, Kirkintilloch Town Hall and any primary schools or early years centres which do not already have a device.
All First Aiders at council premises will be trained in the use of defibrillators and many of the devices will be installed on building exteriors to allow 24/7 access.
The consultation also showed demand for defibrillators at train stations and other buildings not owned by the council such as Strathkelvin Retail Park and Cross Court in Bishopbriggs and the council will write to the owners of these locations with the information it has received.
New defibrillators will be registered with The Circuit, a British Heart Foundation database designed to assist the emergency services in directing people to the closest device.
At a recent council meeting where the consultation was discussed, Councillor Duncan Cumming (independent, Bearsden North) the initiative “fantastic” but also asked should be done about Megan Thompson, a former Castlehill Primary School pupil who has raised more than £3,000 to install an external defibrillator there.
Executive officer Alan Bauer said he was aware of this situation and the council would find a suitable way to acknowledge Ms Thompson’s efforts following approval of the overall plan.
Councillor Vaughan Moody (Liberal Democrat, Bearsden South) asked if existing defibrillators at other locations close to council properties would be accounted for.
Depute chief executive Ann Davie replied that officers had been tasked with looking at provision across the council’s estate and Mr Bauer confirmed any issues such as potential overlap would be taken into account.
“We cannot control defibrillators on private property but we can control those within our own assets, so we can have that assurance that those are maintained, up to date and working correctly” he added.
Councillor Andrew Polson (independent, Milngavie) said that his late mother would have benefited from a defibrillator and asked what could be done to public awareness as only 14 per cent of respondents to the consultation said they knew where they were installed.
It was confirmed that a social media campaign would be rolled out, reinforced by display advertising on notice boards.
Councillor Susan Murray (Liberal Democrat, Kirkintilloch East and North and Twechar) praised the work done by Kirkintilloch Rotary Club who have been identifying defibrillator locations and installing notices.
Council leader Gordan Low (SNP, Bishopbriggs South) confirmed that Bishopbriggs Community Council had written to various local organisations and identified a canalside location where a defibrillator will soon be installed by Scottish Canals.