Public use defibrillator to be placed in the High Street.

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A LIFE-SAVING defibrillator is now available for public use in Ilfracombe High Street.

The £1,275 medical equipment, used to re-start the heart following a heart attack, will be housed in a special box at McColl’s near Market Arch and accessible 24 hours a day.

Community groups, businesses and the town council together with South Western Ambulance Service have worked to make the scheme possible.

It was set in motion by former Ilfracombe police constable Paul Wright, who worked hard to seek funding for the new equipment and its case.

“Without exception everyone I approached was delighted to be able to contribute towards the cost,” he said.

“There is now almost enough funds in the account to purchase the purpose made box in which to house the defibrillator. In the mean time it will be housed at McColls in the High Street as this is the premises with the longest opening hours.

“Lack of training should not deter anyone from attempting to use a defibrillator as the machine gives simple verbal commands and leads the operator through the straightforward process.”

In the past three weeks public access defibrillators have been placed at Heasley Mill, Charles and Brayford, with others due at Langtree and Stibb Cross shortly.

These have been financed by various means, from local councils, individuals and local fund raising, including the shoot at Heasley Mill.

Each village has its own volunteer ‘guardian angel’ who looks after the equipment.

The ambulance service plays its part by getting the equipment at a cheap rate, training people in the villages to use it and also undertakes to maintain it.

The first training session in Ilfracombe is at the Ilfracombe Centre on Wednesday, October 24 from 7-10pm for anyone who is interested. To find out more call 01271 855300 or drop in to the centre.

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