Life-saving equipment has been installed at Moray’s only crematorium in case any mourners suffer heart problems while paying their final respects.
A defibrillator has been put in place at Moray Crematorium in Buckie, which can be used to restart the heart of people in cardiac arrest.
Charity chiefs say the building is an ideal location for such a device, as it regularly hosts large crowds containing people who are “anxious” or “under stress”.
The addition comes after the deaths of two people in the past six months at crematoria across the UK, who had suffered heart attacks when attending a funeral.
Ian Bryson, Moray Crematorium manager, highlighted the importance of having the kit to hand in case a medical emergency occurs.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
He said: “Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10 per cent.
“We will always call an ambulance, but wanted to do everything we possibly can to provide immediate help.”
The Buckie facility has become the latest of 46 crematoria operated by Dignity to have the defibrillators installed after raising money through its charity partner British Heart Foundation (BHF).
The funeral directors helped to raise more than £450,000 by hosting events in its premises across the UK.
Donna Stokes of BHF voiced her support for the initiative and explained why it was important to have the device in place there.
She said: “Defibrillators need to be available in areas of greatest risk, such as where crowds gather.
“These can be a location where people are naturally anxious or under stress, or possibly somewhere that an ambulance may take time to reach due to traffic congestion or distance from a hospital – so a crematorium meets all of these requirements.”
There are two campaign campaign groups who raise money to support organisations or businesses who want to adopt defibrillators in Moray.
Keiran’s Legacy and Defibs for Moray also offer first aid training courses giving local people the opportunity to learn essential skills and offer guidance on how to use the equipment properly.
There will now be five defibrillators in Buckie and the surrounding areas.