PC Ian Leggett was at the crossroads of Bank Street on Saturday evening during the Riding of the Marches celebrations when he was handed the defibrillator from the Queensberry Arms Hotel, and told a man was suffering a heart attack at Farmfoods.
He raced the quarter of a mile to the store and said: “I got the defib from the Queensberry, and began to run.
“The middle of the road was all clear, and all I could think was ‘what is going to greet me when I get there?’”
Upon arrival, PC Leggett leapt into action and recounting his first time using what proved to be a life-saving piece of equipment, he said: “I’m trained every year in CPR and basic first aid, but this was my first time using a defib – and they’re a brilliant piece of kit.
“I put the pads on, and it gave me instructions telling me exactly what to do – it talked me through. I definitely think there should be more in Annan, and I can’t praise the fact that it was there at hand enough.”
It was a happy ending at the weekend with the 54-year-old patient relayed to Dumfries Infirmary for treatment, coming home on Wednesday.
Also playing a part in the medical emergency was security man Robert Reid, from Carlisle.
He was working on the door at the nearby The Commercial Inn when the drama unfolded and he assisted in giving CPR before PC Leggett arrived.
Mr Reid said: “A police lady came and asked if there were any nurses or doctors in, and I told her that I was first aid trained. I just gave two rescue breaths and advised where I could – it’s the police really that deserve most of the credit.”
However, Mr Reid revealed that the man’s family have thanked him personally and have been giving him updates on his condition.
He said: “The family actually added me on Facebook and the daughter has been giving me updates on how he is. I think we’re going to meet up when I’m next in Annan, and he’s feeling better.”
Pub landlord John Steel led the campaign to bring defibrillators to the town, and he said: “It makes all the hard work worthwhile. I always said if it saves at least one life, then it’s all been worthwhile.
“Due to vandalism and the cost of use however, funds are running low. If any members of the public would like to give anything, they can go to The Cumberland Building Society and contribute to the Annan Defibrillator Fund.”