On Valentine’s Day this year, St John Scotland, a partner of Save a Life for Scotland, placed public access defibrillators on each of Edinburgh’s trams, which could prove critical in an emergency.
The aim of the ‘St John and the City public access defibrillator project’, run by St John Scotland’s Edinburgh team, is to place life saving devices at strategic sites – known as Hosts – across Edinburgh, taking into account the volume of people in the immediate vicinity.
The project has seen St John Scotland’s Edinburgh committee team up with various businesses – or Donors – around the city to place defibrillators in key locations, including the tram network.
Businesses who provided the necessary funding for the defibrillators on Edinburgh’s trams include Royal Bank of Scotland, Virgin Money, Montague Evans, Charlie Miller, GLM, Phillips and Laerdal and Newtyne Consultancy and Training. Donations from the public and money raised through St John Scotland’s Edinburgh fundraising events also contributed towards the costs.
The defibrillators on each of Edinburgh’s trams will not only be deployed if a tram passenger takes unwell, but can be used if a member of the public suffers a cardiac arrest in the vicinity of a tram during its journey.
A spokesman for Edinburgh Trams commented: “We are wholeheartedly behind this initiative by St John Scotland, which has the potential to save many lives.
“We’re delighted to be playing such a central part in their plans to roll out defibrillators across the city. It’s not just tram customers who will benefit — as the system serves so many key locations and communities, having defibrillators installed on our trams is an innovative way of ensuring that Edinburgh residents and visitors are close to this life-saving equipment should they be taken ill.”
Public access defibrillators are expensive, with a defibrillator and protective box costing around £1,500, but the easy-to-use units can prove vital in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest.
The framework for the St John and the City project was developed following a pilot scheme undertaken in early 2015, which saw St John Scotland successfully partner with Network Rail to provide necessary support for hosting four defibrillators at Waverley Station.
One year on, these defibrillators have been deployed four times, demonstrating the benefits of having immediate access to lifesaving and easy to use equipment in public places such as Waverley.
For more information on the St John and the City public access defibrillator project, visit www.stjohnandthecity.org.uk.