An extra 15 public access defibrillators are set to be installed across East Renfrewshire after a plan received council approval.
Officials will now work to identify around £40,000 to purchase the new devices, as well as cover the cost of replacement parts for some existing council-owned defibrillators
They will also find £20,000 per year for ongoing maintenance from 2024/25 for all 43 defibrillators, including the 15 new devices, on council properties.
The move has been proposed as it “would significantly improve the availability of a defibrillator should anyone suffer a cardiac arrest and, importantly, increase the chance of survival”, officials reported.
It is believed, using data from 2022, that the additional 15 devices will take the number of publicly accessible defibrillators across East Renfrewshire to 97.
Possible locations for the new devices include: St Mark’s Primary, Auchenback; St John Primary, Carlibar Primary and Dunterlie Community Centre in Barrhead; Bonnyton House, St Joseph’s Primary and Busby Early Years Centre in Busby.
Other potential areas are: Hazeldene Nursery, St Cadoc’s Primary and Albertsland Hall in Newton Mearns; Glen Family Centre in Thornliebank; Ranger Cabin at Whitelee Windfarm.
Eastwood High School, Eaglesham Primary, Braidbar Primary School will also be considered.
East Renfrewshire Council’s public access defibrillator strategy was agreed in December 2022. Since then, a Provost’s Community Defibrillator Fund has been set up to allow donations towards the purchase of equipment, maintenance and training.
The fund is also helping communities move defibrillators, which were inside, outside so they are publicly available 24 hours.
The report by officials stated: “It is recognised that in the event of an out of hospital cardiac arrest the availability of a defibrillator prior to the arrival of professional medical help has a significant effect on the likely survival rate.
“The aim of the strategy is to facilitate an increase in the number of defibrillators in an emergency to the public by working with individuals, community groups, community planning partners, local stakeholders and private sector organisations.”
The estimated price of a new device is around £1,800 while installation costs, which vary depending on location, can start from £600, officials reported.
Currently, the 28 council-owned defibrillators receive monthly inspections, but there is “no dedicated budget associated with this maintenance”. Officials believe the annual maintenance cost would be around £20,000 but are working to “investigate alternative solutions to reduce this cost”.
Other plans to increase the number of defibrillators have involved Provost Mary Montague, in her role as community defibrillator champion, working with charities, communities and businesses.
A formal proposal to work with St John Sctoland, a registered charity with “significant experience” of guiding people on the use of the devices, has been developed. The charity, as well as supporting community groups, would be able “to cover some of the costs associated” and provide “CPR and bystander training, free of charge”, the council report added.
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