Edinburgh building services specialist M-Pact Group has installed a defibrillator at its head office in Loanhead, Midlothian.
As well as helping protect the wellbeing of its 65 staff, the company has also registered it with both the Community Heartbeat Trust and the local ambulance service as part of plans for a National Defibrillator Network (NDN).
The life-saving machine is one of only four within a 10km radius of M-Pact’s facility and there are no machines registered at all in the nearby communities of Bilston, Straiton, Loanhead, Polton or Lasswade.
Martin Robertson, health and safety manager at M-Pact, explained that working with electricity is always potentially dangerous and defibrillators are a powerful tool in dealing with sudden cardiac arrest. It is estimated that there are 60,000 'out of hospital' cardiac arrests every year in the UK.
He said: “The decision to install such a vital piece of equipment is in-line with the duty of care which we owe to our employees and the importance which we attach to their physical and mental wellbeing.
“Without immediate treatment, almost all sudden cardiac arrest victims will die. If a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within three to five minutes of cardiac arrest, their chance of survival increases significantly.
“During office hours, the machine will be available to the local community through the NDN scheme, and our message to other companies in the area is that they should consider following suit and look at modern health issues and risk factors. It could save a life.”
M-Pact has also involved four key staff in the British Red Cross Defibrillator Training Course, which includes CPR training, and it has uploaded the location of the machine to the Scottish Ambulance Service and HeartSafe websites.