We back 'Save a Life for Scotland'

Thursday 11 May 2017

Scottish Fire and Rescue’s Gary Canning checks out Queens Cross tenants’ Hugh McCann and Daisy Woo’s CPR technique.Around 100 staff and tenants of Queens Cross Housing Association are being trained up in CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) skills in a bid to improve cardiac arrest survival rates in the north Glasgow area. 

Part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Save a Life for Scotland’ initiative the association is providing eight defibrillators across four neighbourhoods in the city. The volunteers are being trained by firefighters from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in CPR techniques and on how to use the life saving equipment.

Defibrillation is an emergency medical technique that uses an electrical shock to reset the natural beat of the heart.

‘We recognise that communities with equipment and basic life-saving skills can help save lives and for every minute that passes without resuscitation the chances of survival decreases by 10%. But if a defibrillator is used along with CPR within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, survival rates jump from five per cent to 75%,’ said Queens Cross chief executive, Shona Stephen.

‘These defibrillators really will have the capacity to save people’s lives, so I’m delighted that so many volunteers have stepped forward for training already, they are all potential life savers.’

‘I’m also delighted that our initiative has attracted the support of our local MSP Bob Doris whose Parliamentary motion welcomed our efforts to support the government’s Save a Life for Scotland campaign.’

Research by the British Heart Foundation reveals that that currently only four in ten bystanders know how to perform CPR.

In Scotland each year, around 3500 people suffer an ‘out of hospital’ cardiac arrest and only around 175 survive. The government wants to at least double this survival rate by equipping half a million people across the country with CPR skills by 2020.

Scottish Fire and Rescue’s Local Senior Officer for Glasgow, Jim Hymas said:

‘When someone goes into cardiac arrest their heart is not pumping and every second counts. Performing immediate CPR can keep oxygen circulating around the body until medical professionals arrive and it only takes about half-an-hour to learn the technique.

‘This is a great chance for our firefighters to pass on vital skills that could make the difference between life and death.’

The innovative partnership with the British Heart Foundation has equipped all 356 of Scotland's fire stations with Call Push Rescue training kits, to give communities right across the country the opportunity to learn life-saving skills.

Any Queens Cross tenants interested in getting CPR training can contact Joyce Gallagher on 0141 589 7442 or email