Banchory first responder initiative

Stuart and Donna with members of the BAFR steering group, including chairman and Banchory station watch manager Roddy Lees.
Stuart and Donna with members of the BAFR steering group, including chairman and Banchory station watch manager Roddy Lees.

A move is under way to expand the number of first responders in Banchory.

The town currently has two fully-trained responders and it is hoped to increase this to 10 with appropriate training and the supply of equipment, including defibrillators.

Banchory first responders Stuart Fraser and Donna Westwood.

Banchory first responders Stuart Fraser and Donna Westwood.

Banchory Area First Responders (BAFR) has been established to operate within the framework of the Wildcat Project whose aim is to provide around 500 additional trained first responders throughout Scotland to give swift on-the-spot medical care.

A local steering group was set up last year to consider how the initiative could be rolled out in and around Banchory.

It involves representatives from the fire service, Banchory District Initiative, South Marr Community Safety Group, Aberdeenshire Council. Banchory Community Council and other local organisations.

To achieve a 10-strong group of first responders, signifcant funding will be needed.

We are making contact with businesses, organisations and other groups to raise awareness of the project

Roddy Lees BAFR Chair

BAFR chair Roddy Lees, who is the Banchory station’s watch manager, said: “We are conscious that for this programme to be a success it will require the goodwill, support and assistance of local businesses and organisations and the general public.

“The group has already received some generous donations and further promises of support have been made. However, significantly more funding is required.”

More than £3000 has already been donated to the group which allowed the purchase of equipment to get under way.

Mr Lees added: “We are making contact with businesses, organisations and other groups to raise awareness of the project and to raise further funds.

“Additional fundraising activities are also being reviewed which will be undertaken on an ongoing basis.”

It costs £3000 to train and equip each first responder and around £30,000 will be required for the Banchory group.