Throughout 2022, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland deployed 12 new defibrillators to shore bases throughout Shetland, Orkney and the UK mainland, to be available in case they are required by anyone.
All the defibs on are registered on the British Heart Foundation national register of defibrillators across the UK called The Circuit. It is used by blue-light emergency services to access the equipment when called out. So, whether in the Highlands or islands, Argyll or Cumbria you can always use our emergency lifesaver if needed.
These defibrillators have already made a difference, a Lerwick man saved his brother’s life when he used one of the defibrillators that he was delivering to Cooke Aquaculture Scotland. Gerry Paul happened to have the devices in his van when his brother, Johnny, became unwell at his mother-in-law’s house. In a remarkable coincidence, Gerry was returning the favour, as when the two brothers Johnny and Gerry were children, Johnny had saved Gerry (aged three at the time) from drowning. Johnny and Gerry Paul tell STV news their story:
There have also been local applications towards the purchase of defibrillators through our Community Benefit Fund programme. In Orkney, the Firth Primary School also applied for and received a new defibrillator in 2022. Emma Rendall wrote, “at the moment there is only one public access defibrillator in the Firth and Finstown area….so should someone go into cardiac arrest then they would have to travel nearly a mile to reach the nearest defibrillator. This could be the difference between life and death.” This is in addition to the blanket lifesaving coverage Cooke defib donation has made to the island of Stronsay. Cooke donations has provided four of these life-saving apparatus making sure that wherever someone needs it there is help at end.
In 2022 in Shetland, the Sandness and Walls Community Council applied for funds to purchase a defibrillator for the West Burrafirth pier. The pier carries out a range of functions, including being the ferry terminal for the island of Papa Stour. Having a defibrillator on-hand in this remote location, could well save lives.
Cooke recently took over a store on Kirkwall pier and the first job was to install a life-saving defibrillator accessible to everyone. The pier is not only a base for Cooke sea water operations in Orkney, but it is also the marina for passing yachtsmen and were the inter-island ferries pass through. So, whether a ferry passenger, fisherman, on a yacht or just a passer-by everyone is welcome to use the defibrillator.
Lucky2BHere, the charity which provided the heart-starters, has called for more defibrillators to be installed across Scotland.
Sophie Isaacson, from the charity, said: “The outcome is not always perfect, but having the equipment there and doing everything you can possibly do allows people to feel calmer and more in control. The more defibrillators that are accessible around communities, schools, community halls, where there are people doing sports activities the better.”