Scottish Water is helping a Buchan village to keep a potentially life-saving asset where it can make the biggest difference in an emergency.
Residents of St Combs, near Fraserburgh, recently approached Scottish Water to ask if a defibrillator could be installed on the utility’s pumping station in the village.
The life-saving device, known as an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), was bought after fundraising in memory of local resident Bruce Hastie, supported by his family, friends and local businesses.
In response to the request, Scottish Water agreed to host the defibrillator and provide the modest electricity supply that it requires. In addition, the local Scottish Water team organised a joint training session with the British Red Cross and the British Heart Foundation, for members of the community and its own staff to learn how to respond and make use of the device in an emergency.
Nine members of the local community and three Scottish Water staff attended a course last week which was held in the local Community Hall.
Andrew Duthie from St Combs Village Trust said: m“The St Combs Village Trust started a couple of years ago and we decided to try and raise money to get a defibrillator, and we got the first one installed at the community hall.
"We were then approached by the Hastie family earlier this year who donated a second defibrillator. So we thought the village is covered at the top half of the town so the best place for the second one is the bottom end of the town so both ends are covered.
"The best place for it was on Scottish Water’s pumping station building so we approached them and they kindly allowed us to install it on their building.”
Clive Duncan from Scottish Water’s communities team said: “When I was approached by the St Combs Village Trust, it quickly became clear that there was a great opportunity to work with them by agreeing to house the village’s second defibrillator on the wall of our pumping station.
“Our local team was pleased to be able to go further by organising a training day locally - and extending the invitation to members of the local community to join us in learning how to use these devices when it really matters.
“Especially in rural communities, the availability of defibrillators, and people with the confidence to use them, can make a life-saving difference. We’re delighted to play a small part in helping the Hastie family and the St Combs Village Trust to look after the future of their community and everyone who lives here.”
In a statement the Hastie family said: “We have made this donation in memory of Bruce, and on behalf of Bruce’s wife Pat, daughter Carol, and grandson Andrew-Bruce.
"The cash was raised by family, friends, local businesses and individuals in the area. The family would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the fund and allowed us to donate this useful piece of life-saving medical equipment. We hope it will be a great asset for the people of St Combs.”