A TOTAL of 41 new defibrillators will be installed across West Dunbartonshire following a £50,000 investment in a life-saving campaign.

The automated external defibrillators (AED) will be installed outside libraries, community centres, leisure centres and local businesses to ensure residents are never far from help in an emergency.

Of the 41 purchased by West Dunbartonshire Council, 29 have been distributed for installation, and the remaining 12 are expected to be placed within school campuses.

The council has worked in partnership with Heartstart and the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to highlight the importance of defibrillators in the community.

They held an official launch last week in a bid to gain support from the public, highlight training sessions, and also to allow residents to familiarise themselves with the machines and learn CPR.

Members of the community are being encouraged to volunteer to become a defibrillator guardian and take responsibility for checking them every month, so they are kept in working order.

Councillor McNair, vice chair of West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “These machines can really be the difference between life and death for some and so it is vital that they are widely available.

“Every machine in the community has an ambassador who looks after the maintenance of that unit. We need more people in the community to come forward and volunteer to look after the maintenance of the machines to ensure they are ready for use in the event of an emergency.

“These defibrillators are very simple to operate but I would encourage all residents to consider participating in one of the training sessions offered by our partners at Heartstart to become familiar with them and also learn basic CPR skills.

“You could really save somebody’s life.”

Councillor Diane Docherty added:“These units are a welcome addition to communities across West Dunbartonshire and will provide some reassurance that assistance will be available in the event of an emergency.”

Like every other defibrillator, it will now be added to the SAS register, meaning 999 staff will be able to direct callers to the closest machine.