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14/06/2016

CalMac port office in Tarbert, Harris, gets new community defibrillator from charity

Staff at CalMac's port in Tarbert, Isle of Harris, have been trained to use a newly donated community defibrillator.

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The piece of vital medical equipment has been gifted by the MacRae family from Scalpay via charity Lucky2BHere and is now installed at the port office at the centre of the village - there is a second defibrillator, donated by the same charity, at Tarbert's Sir E Scott School. Sadly, the family's son Christopher lost his life in 2005 at the age of just 25 to an undiagnosed heart condition. This donation of vital medical equipment is a lasting legacy to his memory and a plaque has been mounted on the wall to mark that.

Both CalMac and Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited, often better known as CMAL, were approached by Lucky2BHere and agreed the defibrillator would be beneficial to the community and agreed to locating it at the port.

Seven of CalMac's nine Tarbert port staff were trained by volunteers from the charity Cameron Morrison, Karen MacRae and Angus Morrison.

"We were pleased to have the defibrillator installed at the port here," explained port senior clerk Tina MacLeod. "Obviously it is something we all hope never to need, but, nonetheless, the fact it is here should be a reassurance to both the community and passengers alike."

Potentially lifesaving defibrillators are available at approximately 15 ports, harbours and slipways across CalMac's network and on all vessels. A number have been donated by charities, others are community-owned, while others have been bought and installed by CMAL and CalMac. The port buildings are a popular choice as they tend to be central within the communities, as well as easily accessible. In a number of other locations, there is no requirement to host a defib at the port itself as other nearby local buildings already have one.

Hundreds of staff members have been trained in their use and stand by ready to assist if required. There are also a number of unmanned ports which have defibs available - 'unmanned' defibs are common and contain instructions and often an audio voiceover for their use, talking the operator through what to do.

Pictures show:

CalMac staff have been trained in using the lifesaving equipment - here (left to right) the staff are shown with the trainers. Back row (L-R) Angus Morrison (Luck2BHere), Maree Fraser (CalMac), John Macleod (CalMac), Tina Macleod (CalMac), Kay Macleod (CalMac), Norman Ian Mackay (CalMac); front row (L-R) David Morrison (CalMac) and Cameron Morrison (Lucy2BHere).  Missing from the picture is Catherine Mackinnon (CalMac) and Karen MacRae (Lucky2BHere)

A special plaque remembers Christopher MacRae

The defibrillator installed at Tarbert Port Office

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