OVER 30 members of the Hawick community have been signed up to use life-saving heart defibrillators.
The mass training is being undertaken as the result of a plea from local fitness instructor Greg Dalgleish for Teries to come forward, after he raised concerns that only a handful of people knew how to operate three machines based in Hawick.
Back in 2005, Think Fitness and the High School raised £2,000 each to purchase a defibrillator - which gives the heart an electric shock - to be kept in casing on the wall at each building. Since then Hawick Linden RFC has also obtained a defibrillator, but it was felt local awareness was low.
Think Fitness co-owner Greg Dalgleish explained: “Although people were trained in 2005, there hasn’t been anything done since, and I recently found out the Linden needed training, so decided something had to be done.”
An application for £1,500 was submitted to Hawick Common Good, but was only supported by local councillors Stuart Marshall and Davie Paterson. However, the Provost’s Council did agree to award £1,000 to the project, which allows 33 volunteers to receive training. Greg commented: “The full amount would have allowed 50 people to get trained up so I was disappointed because we’d had a great response, but it’s still good and although funding is now limited, I would still urge anyone interested to come forward.”
Training has already been given to 23 Teries from all walks of life, including seven in Denholm where a machine has also been purchased. Local trainer and army veteran George Heaney, who runs Geo Training Solutions, told the Hawick News: “The more people who are trained in Hawick the better it is for the community. Greg has got all this going, and it’s had a great response.”
Local Councillor Stuart Marshall, who himself underwent training at the weekend, commented: “Its great to be part of such a worthwhile project and everyone was delighted they got through the training programme last Sunday. It is a fantastic community initiative, and whilst I hope we are never called into practice, it must be reassuring to the public that there are people out there who may be able to help them.”
And the project has also been praised by the founder of Scottish HART (Heart at Risk Testing). Wilma Gunn, whose son Cameron died whilst playing football, stated: “I think what Greg and people in Hawck are doing is excellent. It is people like Gregg that have really done us proud. There’s a lot of interest, and it’s fantastic.”