Lifesaving equipment supplied to local rescue service proved its worth at the weekend after a mountain biker was airlifted to hospital.
A man, so far unnamed, was taking part in a mountain biking event near Peebles when he became unwell and suffered a cardiac arrest.
He was given CPR after an event marshall attended to him, along with members of Tweed Valley bike patrol and other competitors.
Members of the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team (TVMRT) were also on the scene, within four minutes, bringing with them an automated external defibrillator (AED) that allowed them to administer a “life-saving” electric shock to the casualty.
The attendees worked together to get the man to a waiting SAS Emergency Medical Retrieval Service helicopter, which delivered him to Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary, where he is said to be recovering well.
Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue team leader Pete Matthews said after the incident: “I’m extremely proud of how the TVMRT members reacted to the incident.
“All members of the team train hard to deal with a number of potential scenarios and it’s great to see that our medical and incident management training kicked into play.”
Dr Alex McDonald, TVMRT medical officer, said the incident “shows that a combination of basic life support training and having early access to an AED makes a real difference in the short time period after a casualty suffers a cardiac arrest”.
Back in November 2012, two defibrillators were acquired by Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue with help from a national scheme to provide the apparatus run by the British Heart Foundation.
This weekend was the first time that they have been used to save someone’s life.
Every fire station in Scotland has CPR training kits supplied by the BHF, and are happy to host training on them for the public. Those interested can visit Fire Scotland’s website for details.