The recent incident at the Euros, when Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed suddenly while playing, brought to the attention of many people how important CPR and defibrillators are when someone risks losing their life from cardiac arrest.

Although Eriksen’s life was saved and he is now recovering at home, for the 70 people who have a cardiac arrest each week in Scotland, the outcome is not always a good one. Statistically, only one in10 will survive.

Cardiac arrest can happen to people of all ages and levels of fitness and when it does, it’s vital that those around can act quickly and confidently to give the person the best chance of surviving.

Charity St John Scotland works with communities across the country to help save lives from sudden cardiac arrest. They offer free CPR training in communities and help to install public defibrillators.

The Ayrshire and Arran committee of St John Scotland has, in the past, supported Kilmaurs, Stewarton, Netherthird and most recently Newmilns to install Public Access Defibrillators, and have a further 10 in the pipeline. The committee’s newly appointed Chair, Jess Duncan, perhaps better known to some as the wife of former Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, John Duncan, is keen to support more communities across Ayrshire.

She said: “We’ve seen a growing interest in CPR and defibrillators since the Eriksen incident. It has focused minds on the importance of having readily available public access defibrillators in communities.

“We have worked alongside a wide range of community groups and businesses in East Ayrshire, and are currently working with East Ayrshire Council who have ably identified local groups to partner with us.

“I would very much welcome any opportunity to extend our reach in communities in both North and South Ayrshire. Through the St John Scotland Community Defibrillator Scheme we can cover 25 per cent of the costs of a defibrillator.

“As soon as the COVID situation allows, our volunteers can offer training locally to enable people of all ages to learn CPR and see how easy defibrillators are to use.

“Please get in touch at (FAO Jess Duncan).”