Golf club becomes 'first in world' to install defibrillators on buggies

Ex-military trainer and former England international footballer join forces for initiative at Royal Dornoch.

Royal Dornoch is thought to have become the first golf club in the world to install defibrillators on all its buggies.  

The initiative is thanks to the efforts of Surrey businessman and ex-military trainer David Sullivan, who joined forces with former England international footballer John Salako to promote widespread access to the lifesaving devices.

Mr Sullivan embarked on the mission after suffering the loss of four of his close friends while they were in their forties, all to cardiac arrest.

He said: “Royal Dornoch is the first course in the world to install potentially lifesaving defibrillators and first aid kits on each of their golf buggies, but hopefully it won’t be long before others follow suit.

“We are seeing more and more golf clubs around the UK purchasing defibrillators for their clubhouses.

“That is fantastic. But we believe clubs can go one step further to protect members and visitors by providing defibrillators in every buggy going out onto the course.”

Royal Dornoch general manager Neil Hampton hopes other golf clubs will embrace the concept.

“We have had one at the clubhouse and at the halfway house for several years,” he told STV News.

“Now we have installed them on all five buggies that are hired out to golfers with medical conditions. Another is used by our roving ranger, and that could prove particularly invaluable if someone is in distress.

“Our mission is to increase investment in life-saving defibrillators and educate as many people as possible on how to perform CPR.”

Royal Dornoch general manager Neil Hampton (centre) welcomes the installation of ground-breaking buggy defibrillators with CPR campaigners, former England footballer John Salako (left) and David Sullivan (right).Royal Dornoch Golf Club

The club’s assistant manager, Claire Riddell, said that half of the staff at Royal Dornoch now have some knowledge of first aid training.

“We’ve got 12 members of staff that have attended a three-day training course, and that’s renewed every three years,” she said.

“And just these last couple of months, we had another 24 staff go through a one-day emergency at work training.”

Professor David Bell.STV News

“It’s an extra safeguard for our golfers,” explained Professor David Bell, who is club captain at Royal Dornoch.

“We get golfers coming from all over the world. They’re not all youngsters, so we like to provide all the potential first aid benefits that we can.”

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