The Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA) has partnered up with Scotland’s only dedicated first aid charity and leading first aid training provider, St Andrew’s First Aid, to provide free Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to ten Scottish Men’s Sheds.
The SMSA put a call out to the 190+ Men’s Sheds across Scotland inviting them to apply for the Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and received 44 applications showing a huge demand for this vital equipment (retailed at just over £1,500) to be located at Shed premises across Scotland.
The ten recipients will use the equipment to not only protect their members but – with the addition of an outdoor cabinet purchased by the Shed – will also make them accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Sudden cardiac arrest strikes 7 million people a year worldwide with no warning and no pattern. There’s little time to react and even less time to think, this means an AED must be close at hand, easy-to-use and ready to shock. Chris Jowsey, Treasurer of Glenkens Men’s Shed, said: “One of our members had a cardiac arrest whilst at the Shed and sadly passed away despite the prompt actions of his fellow Shedders to get medical assistance. We can’t help but wonder if we’d had a defibrillator that day, if the outcome might have been different.
“We are delighted to have received this defibrillator through the SMSA and St Andrews First Aid and to be able to make it accessible to our entire community.”
Tom Bennett of Springburn Park Men’s Shed said: “We have been trying to raise funds for a defibrillator for over two years for our Shed located within a public park in our village. We are thrilled to accept and maintain this defibrillator and make it accessible to our members, other community groups, park users and the general public.”
Brian Kerr, Secretary of Dumfries Men`s Shed, said: “We are very pleased to have been one of the ten Sheds selected to receive one of the defibrillator units. We really appreciate it, and being in larger premises with new members already joining, it is re-assuring to know that in the unfortunate event that it is needed, we could possibly save someone`s life with this kit. It doesn’t get any more serious than life and death and we are very grateful to both the SMSA and St Andrews First Aid for their donation.”
Jim Dorman, Director of Campaigns and Public Engagement at St Andrew’s First Aid, said: “Knowing that these vital pieces of equipment will be available to both members of the ten Sheds and to the wider communities will hopefully bring considerable peace of mind. With every minute that passes following a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival drops by 10%. Swift use of a defibrillator is all the difference needed to significantly increase a person’s chance of survival. We are delighted to donate these defibrillators to help more communities save lives.”
The successful Men’s Sheds across Scotland are: Aberchirder & District Men’s Shed; Forfar and District Men’s Shed; Glenkens Men’s Shed; Inverurie & District Men’s Shed; Macmerry Men’s Shed; Mens Shed Dumfries; Pentlands Men’s Shed; Peterhead & District Men’s Shed; Springburn Park Men’s Shed; and Whale Firth Men’s Shed.