LIFESAVING skills will be taught to people in the community during an event organised by Forth Valley First Responders.

Members of the public are the "vital link" to help increase a person's chance of survival when they are not breathing, according to the volunteers.

To that end, the group is holding a free CPR training session in Alloa Town Hall this weekend to ensure everyone knows how to act in a life or death situation.

Gary Drummond, a first responder for four years, has been to numerous cardiac arrests which is the most serious of life-threatening emergencies received by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

He recognises the vital role members of the public can play in the seconds and minutes before the arrival of an ambulance.

He said: "When someone isn’t breathing, the ambulance service will prioritise that call above the other 999 calls that comes in.

"Between the call being made and the ambulance arriving members of the public are the vital link in the chain to increase that casualty's chance of survival so we came up with this idea to hold an event to promote lifesaving skills in the community I live: Alloa."

First Responders are everyday members of the community who are trained to deal with a range of potentially life threatening conditions until an ambulance appears.

The volunteers support the Scottish Ambulance Service and are dispatched to provide the earliest possible intervention.

The event is being organised by Gary and fellow first responder Nigel Campbell, but it is also being attended by numerous other groups supporting the cause.

Gary added: "Attending to help support the event are other blue light colleagues from The Scottish Ambulance Service, The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Ochil Mountain Rescue Team, to name but a few.

"We really hope the event is a success and can pave the way for future community resilience activities in the future."

Gary, a keen fundraiser, has also been busy spearheading a crucial move to bring a piece of lifesaving equipment to Alloa.

He has been working to gather the cash needed for a cabinet that will house an automatic external defibrillator (AED) in the town centre.

However, the defibrillator alone is not enough and hopes to pass on valuable skills to as many local people as possible, during the event on Sunday, November 12, between noon and 6pm.

Beyond the training, a range of organisations will be on hand to chat with anyone who comes along, including organisers Forth Valley First Responders, Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Ochils Mountain Rescue and Safe Drive Stay Alive.

To find out more about the work of Forth Valley First Responders, searching for the group on Facebook and Twitter, or visit