VITAL life-saving skills were passed on to Wee County residents in Alloa as dozens attended a free CPR training event on Sunday.

Organised by the Forth Valley First Responders, the workshop gave people a chance to learn the techniques and procedures used to bring a person back from a cardiac arrest.

The event was being held in the wake of a push to bring a public access automated external defibrillator (AED) into Alloa town centre and potentially elsewhere in the future.

A member of the public performing CPR can be crucial in the chain of survival as the devices are not able to deliver a shock unless the patient’s heart is put into a certain rhythm through the technique.

Even just a few minutes without CPR can dramatically reduce the chances of a person pulling through as the brain becomes starved of oxygen.

Experienced ambulance paramedic Rod Moore told the Advertiser: “Bystander CPR buys the patient time so I can get there with the appropriate equipment.

“Even if they are not trained and never done it before, we will talk them through it over the phone.

“It is vitally important that we can have somebody doing CPR until we get there.

“Have no fear about it, you can’t do the patient any harm.

“For every minute where nobody does CPR, the patient’s chances decrease by 10 per cent.”

More and more local clubs, groups and businesses are purchasing defibrillators and while they are not public access, they are usually placed strategically in the heart of the community.

However, as Valerie Stuart and Ann MacGregor from Alloa Bowling Club highlighted, it is not always evident that chest compressions are also required to deliver the shock.

Valerie said: “We just came down to investigate because we have a defibrillator in the club and it has just sort of been put on the wall, but nobody has shown us anything.

“We would like to get the ball rolling because we are all getting old.”

The two ladies have now picked up some useful skills and arranged for a demonstration at their own club so more members can be prepared, should it be necessary.

A range of partnering organisations also came along to Alloa Town Hall in support, including the Ochils Mountain Rescue Team, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Gary Drummond, one of the chief organisers of the event with Forth Valley First Responders, was happy to see a number of enthusiastic young people coming along on the day.

He said: “It has been steady – a lot of kids have been interested which is always good.

“We had a lot of people asking about the public access defibrillators, how they can get involved, help and learn.”

He explained many people do not realise the defibrillator will not do the job alone and added: “The defibrillator is great when it’s there, when it can be used, but the compressions are the most important.

“We taught them how to do compressions and then to add the defibrillator in later to put it all together.”