15 Jan 2019
Glasgow Taxis Ltd has introduced 15 defibrillators to vehicles operating on the city’s streets around the clock in a trial which is a first for Scotland.
The new initiative has seen 15 drivers trained on the use of the electronic devices to help them deal with any incidents of cardiac arrest in or near to their cabs, as well as increasing the number available and accessible for public use.
Glasgow Taxis Ltd, the largest taxi firm in the UK outside London, said it was a continuation of their policy to give back to Glasgow and make a positive contribution to Scotland’s biggest city.
The company is working in partnership with Defib Machines, which includes Mercedes-Benz, Britvic and DHL among its customers, and says it will roll out more defibrillators to further vehicles should the initiative prove a success.
Stephen Flynn, Chairman of Glasgow Taxis Ltd, said: “Quite simply, this is what we do. We don’t just drive taxis and take people from A to B, we are committed to giving back whether that’s through charitable support, fundraising events or this latest initiative.
“By introducing 15 potentially-lifesaving defibrillators to our taxis we are utilising the very natural willingness of our drivers to help people along with a test of the benefits of having these machines available in our vehicles, not only for driver use but to the wider communities of Glasgow.
“It’s a modest outlay which we have committed to over a three-year period and if even one machine helps one person in that time, it will have been worth it many times over.”
One Glasgow Taxis driver who now has a defibrillator in his licensed taxi is Stephen Lalley, who himself suffered heart problems last year, since recovering back to better health.
He said: “I was thinking about it when we got our training, quite often when we pick people up on a dark night and in the rain they’ll say to us: ‘Aw driver, yer a lifesaver’ - well that phrase could take on a whole new meaning now. I think it’s a brilliant idea and we’re all very proud to represent an organisation which wants to help the people of its city in ways such as this.”
Glasgow Taxis Ltd has been providing a range of training including first aid in recent years and has committed to continuing this in 2019 to support all its drivers including those 15 now with defibrillators in vehicles.
David McColgan, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager for BHF Scotland, said: “A cardiac arrest is the ultimate medical emergency and every minute without CPR reduces a person’s chance of survival. Alongside administering CPR, the early use of a defibrillator is a key link in the chain of survival.
“When someone has a cardiac arrest every second counts and evidence shows that an individual is considerably more likely to survive discharge from hospital, and with favourable outcomes, if shocked by a bystander rather than having to wait for an ambulance.
“This is a positive contribution by Glasgow Taxis. It will increase the number of defibrillators and their visibility in the city and is a move BHF Scotland welcomes as we work towards creating a Nation of Lifesavers.”
Pictured: Glasgow Taxis driver Stephen Lalley now has a defibrillator in his licensed taxi.