Golf clubs across Scotland are set to reap the cost-saving benefits after St John Scotland (SJS), a national charity, agreed to gift a life-saving defibrillator device to all Scottish Golf Union (SGU) and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association (SLGA) national event venues over the next three years.
Having approached the SGU last September, the unique deal has been struck to offer a defibrillator for free to each of the golf club venues for SGU & SLGA national championships from 2015-17, as well as offering defibrillator training in advance of each event.
A scheme has also been agreed for other neighbouring clubs to attend the training and obtain their own defibrillator, typically priced around £1,000, from St John Scotland at a 50% discounted rate.
SJS, formed in 1947, is a Scottish charity dedicated to helping others through medical and rescue activities across Scotland and abroad. Through their support, better availability of defibrillators, and the necessary training, could lead to the lives of golfers across the country being saved.
Each year 100,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK, causing more deaths than lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDs combined. CPR and early defibrillation with an AED (automated external defibrillator) can increase sudden cardiac arrest survival from 5% to over 50%.
The importance of defibrillators was brought into sharp focus in August 2013 when the former Ryder Cup captain, Bernard Gallacher, collapsed during a dinner at a hotel on the outskirts of Aberdeen. Gallacher had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and it was only thanks to the hotel’s defibrillator and the immediate action of trained staff that he survived, before going on to make a full recovery.
Announcing the new partnership at the SGU Annual Conference in Stirling over the weekend, Sir Malcolm Ross, the Prior of St John Scotland, said: “As one of the country’s leading caring charities, it is our mission to improve the safety, health and quality of life of people in our communities.
“This might include tiny, sick babies in need of specialist care in the ambulance taking them to hospital, the seriously ill person who needs help getting to and from hospital for treatment, or the mountain rescue teams who risk their lives to go to the aid of others.
“Scotland’s golfing community is one of our most vibrant, but the course or the club can feel like a very isolated place to anyone who suffers a heart attack. Defibrillators will save lives and we are very proud to be working with the Scottish Golf Union and the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association to supply the equipment and the training which will make all the difference until the medics or paramedics can take over.”
Hamish Grey, chief executive of the Scottish Golf Union, added: “Thanks to the support of St John Scotland, we’re delighted each golf club venue in Scotland hosting a Scottish Golf Union or Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association national championship in 2015 will be gifted a defibrillator.
“The outcome will be significant cost-savings for golf clubs, positive golf club and community engagement and, above all else, could lead to the saving of lives at Scottish golf courses.”
Karin Sharp, Chief Operating Officer of the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association, said: “We look forward to working with St John Scotland over the next three years and thank them again for their support for the game in this country.”
St John Scotland www.stjohnscotland.org.uk
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