THE first public access defibrillator for the Clackmannan community was unveiled last week.

Life saving equipment was installed on the walls of the town's pharmacy on the Main Street last Thursday, March 14.

The device was secured by Clackmannan Development Trust following numerous requests.

Guidance was sought from Saline First Responders who were happy to share with the committee and board of trustees all the details involved when operating a public access defibrillator.

A fundraising drive for the £2,400 needed for the equipment and accessories was then started and involved a crowdfunding page, collections tins in local shops, raffles at Clackmannan Primary School as well as other events and donations.

Lesley Shaw, community development officer at the trust, said: “We felt that this was really important that as a request from the community that the community raised the funds to buy this piece of equipment and felt ownership of it.

“It was wonderful to see the number of offers that came forward and how strongly people wanted to support this cause.”

It was decided by poll on social media in December the equipment would not be put in a code-locked cabinet, with a view to saving precious seconds in the case of a cardiac arrest emergency.

Instead, security is provided by CCTV coverage and thanks is given to Mike Hutchison, owner of Clackmannan Pharmacy, for hosting the defibrillator, as well as covering the installation and ongoing energy costs.

The device could save a life in a cardiac arrest emergency, when a person in unconscious and are not breathing.

The automated external defibrillator (AED) speaks and gives instructions, evaluates the casualty’s heart rhythm and decides if a shock needs to be delivered.

CPR is an essential skill to be employed alongside the use of the devices, however, to make sure oxygen keeps flowing to the vital organs.

To increase awareness of the AED and how to use it, Lesley and the team organised a training event with Saline First Responders.

It involved pupils and staff at Clackmannan Primary School as well as a community training day at Clackmannan Town Hall on Sunday, March 10, ahead of the installation.