A CAMPAIGN group behind efforts to bring public access defibrillators to Barrhead has increased its target to 30.

The Levern Valley Defibrillator Community Partnership was established in August last year with the aim of installing up to 10 of the devices in the town.

However, as funding has rolled in, that goal has stretched, which campaigners say reflects local need.

Around 95 per cent of people who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest die before reaching hospital – but death is not inevitable.

With an effective network of public access defibrillators (PADs) in place throughout towns and villages, the survival rate could be as high as 50 per cent.

Barrhead Rotary is spearheading the initiative through the community partnership, with the aim of providing effective coverage of PADs across Barrhead, especially where footfall is greatest.

Trustees want to establish a partnership with groups and businesses throughout town, including schools, churches, community organisations and individuals.

Chairman Douglas Yates said: “I am pleased that East Renfrewshire Council are keen to become a partner as their assistance in securing locations for the defibrillators will be important.

“They also administer the East Renfrewshire Renewable Energy Fund, which has assisted us with a sizeable grant. However, I reckon that to effectively provide cover for the whole of Barrhead we might need as many as 30 PADs.

"These will need weekly checking and reporting, together with any maintenance necessary, so we will put in place a system of governance and also provide free community awareness sessions and basic life support courses for residents at convenient times and in convenient venues so they can learn more about defibrillators and how to use them.”

The first six PADs are due to be operational before Easter.

Mr Yates added: “The cost of each PAD, including fitting, is about £2,000. This means we must raise a lot more money but I have faith in the good people of the Barrhead area. I expect to have 12 PADs installed by this summer, with the remainder by summer 2020.”