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National park locations gain defribillators

Posted 22 March 2012
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National park locations gain defribillators
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For those who like to spend large amounts of their spare time in walking boots and waterproofs climbing hills, one of the great benefits is that of health. While the enjoyment of scenery, escape from the crowds and noise of modern life and ticking off of another peak may be great incentives to get into the outdoors, the fresh air and fitness are also huge bonuses.

However, being fit enough to climb a mountain, or even to the level of a professional athlete, is no guarantor of good health. This was demonstrated last weekend when footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest while playing in an FA Cup tie for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur.

Muamba is now recovering at the London Chest Hospital after numerous attempts with a defibrillator to revive him eventually bore fruit. But the fact that someone who needed to be very fit as a basic requirement of the job could almost lose his life in such a way shows that some people may have hidden conditions.

The presence of defibrillators comes as standard in a football stadium, but not so on the mountains. And occasionally there are fatalities on the hills, examples being the death in 2005 of politician Robin Cook on Ben Stack, a 2,366 ft Graham in the far north Highlands.

Now, however, three small villages in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park are to get automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to help save lives, with Strathfillan Community Council providing these for Inverarnan, Crianlarich and Tyndrum.

Of course, these will also be for the residents of these communities. But these are areas with large visitor populations and therefore good news for tourists.

Local fundraising volunteer manager for the British Heart Foundation Scotland Lisa Stafford commented:  "We're always delighted to provide funding for life-saving equipment and it's great to see three new AEDs in these remote, but very popular visitor spots."

Of course, some people may still die in these locations - getting a defibrillator from Crainlarich to 3,800 ft up on Ben More or Stob Binnein may be hard to do quickly enough - but walkers can suffer at low altitude too and this can include people on the West Highland Way.

As the last week has taught us, people never know when something like this can strike.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801324569-ADNFCR