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Westray defibrillator project finished

The Midbea phone box has been given new life

The Westray Development Trust has completed their defibrillator network, after installing a sixth and final public access defibrillator at the Midbea telephone box.

Over the past year, the trust has installed five new community defibrillators across Westray, the locations being the Westray Airfield, Gill Pier Ferry Terminal Waiting Rooms, Westray Parish Kirk, Peter Miller’s Shop and the Rapness Ferry Terminal Waiting Rooms.

The sixth and final defibrillator was installed in the Midbea red telephone kiosk, in Westray’s west side.

The push for the installations came after a series of community first aid training sessions highlighted that there was limited access to defibrillators on the island.

Westray Development Trust had also started to organise a series of CPR & Defibrillator Training sessions to equip the community with the skills and confidence to act in an emergency.

This training was possible thanks to local GP Dr Meiwald volunteering her time to deliver this valuable and life-saving training.

Three courses were run in Westray in early 2020, before COVID-19 hit. The trust say that when it is safe to do so, this training will once again resume with an aim to have as many in the community as possible trained in CPR and defibrillator use.

Isobel Thompson, operations manager of the Westray Development Trust hopes the life-saving equipment will never have to be used.

She said “our isolated community now has greater access to life-saving equipment in an emergency.

“The red telephone boxes are already a strategically placed network and so are ideal and memorable landmarks that can be used to house a public access defibrillator.

“We were very glad for the opportunity to adopt the Midbea phonebox from BT for just £1 so it could be part of the network, giving the telephone box a new life.”

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