THE community in Alva can access a second defibrillator in town from this week, potentially saving lives in cardiac arrest emergencies.

Alva Development Trust has installed an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the walls of the Cochrane Hall which was this week officially registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service.

It is the second life-saving device in the Hillfoots town and comes in addition to the one already in place at Alva Parish Church.

Mary Laing, chair at Alva Development Trust, is delighted to give something back during a time when the community "has come together so well".

She told the Advertiser: "Alva is growing, and there is one [defibrillator] up at the church, but if there's anybody at this end of the town that needs it – the minutes count.

"And there's so many elderly people that use the park as well; we thought we need to have one here."

Indeed, every second counts if a person collapses in a cardiac arrest, resulting from the failure of the heart to pump blood effectively.

If someone suddenly collapses, people should call 999 immediately and will be directed to a nearby defibrillator if there is one available with two located in Alva from this week.

The device speaks and gives step-by-step instructions while ambulance crews are dispatched to the scene.

Mary wanted to give thanks to EDF Foundation Scotland for supporting the idea as well as Graham Ramage for his extensive experience and support when it came to securing the right equipment, including a cabinet.

She added: "Graham used to be the resuscitation at the hospital so he gave us loads of hints and tips.

"Because of his experience and his knowledge we've got the best one that we can in a really good cabinet; he set it all up for us."

Volunteers at the trust are being trained in using the device and once the coronavirus crisis subsides, there are hopes to involve the wider community in learning defibrillator use and CPR as well.

Mary said: "We are absolutely delighted and it's something you hope you never have to use, but if you did have to use it you want it close by.

"It's something else for the community; everybody has come together during this lockdown, and we've had so many wonderful volunteers and people offering to help with anything – hopefully we can give back."