Keith Community Council has raised major concerns over issues in getting access to lifesaving defibrillators in the town.
It comes after reports of four instances where locals were unable to get codes, or had to wait for long periods, to open machines.
Last week, community representatives met with MSP Richard Lochhead to discuss the ongoing problem.
The Circuit system, which is run by the British Heart Foundation, is designed to record the locations and access instructions of all publicly-accessible defibrillators.
Keith Community Council members maintain 13 defibrillators.
Issues over accessing codes for Keith defibrillators
Community councillor Callum Stuart explained: “Since January, there have been four cases in Keith and surrounding area where people had phoned 999 and needed a defibrillator.
“However they have not been able to get access to codes at all, or kept for extended periods of time to get the codes.
“It is really concerning for the town.
“We have been in touch with Sandra McKandie of Kieran’s Legacy who has had reports of one or two of the incidents.
“However there have been reports that an operator error has been an issue.
“And we suspect it is due to a lack of training for operators to find codes and locations for defibrillators.
“We need to get this sorted before anyone dies as a result.”
‘Matter of urgency’
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said it is crucial that the process to access defibrillator codes is as smooth as possible.
He added: “Lots of local charities such as Kieran’s Legacy have worked closely with communities to have defibrillators installed in appropriate locations.
“However clearly what matters is that the system works and that anyone hoping to help someone in distress is able to get access but need a code.
“I am really concerned that the Scottish Ambulance Service have several times been unable to locate the codes.
“This has to be sorted as a matter of urgency.
“This whole initiative is about saving lives and I know over a few years it has been a remarkable rollover.
‘It can be life or death in some cases’
“It can be Life or death in some cases, so it is crucial we can iron out faults in the process.
“Of course not all defibrillators require codes, but even though it is still important that the public call the ambulance service.”
Ambulance service to address concerns
The Scottish Ambulance Service said it will look into each case if the community council can provide further details.
A spokesman added: “Public access defibrillators (PADs) are vital pieces of equipment in the crucial early minutes following a cardiac arrest before an ambulance arrives.
“The Scottish Ambulance Service recommends that all custodians register their PADs via the Circuit to ensure they are available to save lives in an emergency.
“While we are unable to comment specifically on the incidents referenced at the meeting, if further details can be provided we will look into each case individually and determine the exact circumstances of what happened.
“We will then feed this back to members of the community council, listen to concerns and explain about how the Circuit works.”
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