Councillors vote to pay for new town centre defibrillator

Town mayor Coun Angela Birchall with a defibrillator
Town mayor Coun Angela Birchall with a defibrillator

Town councillors in Horncastle have agreed to fund new life-saving equipment that will be based in Market Place.

Councillors voted unanimously to cover the £1,600 cost of a defibrillator which could be fitted in the area around the town’s Post Office.

At a recent meeting, councillors were told defibrillators were already located at other locations, but not in the centre of Horncastle.

Councillor Matthew Wilkinson said he knew defibrillators were sited inside the Community Centre and Cricket Club.

However, he said people were probably unaware of the current locations and described a town centre site - accessible 24 hours a day - as a ‘brilliant idea’.

He was backed by Mayor Coun Angela Birchall and Coun Jonathan Ferrari who suggested fitting the new defibrillator to the walls of the Post Office.

Councillors agreed to ask for advice from Horncastle-based LIVES about the siting of the new defibrillator.

LIVES are campaigning for defibrillators - which help cardiac arrest victims - to be based in every community in the county.

They point out sudden cardiac arrests occur around 140,000 times a year in the UK - making the problem one of the UK’s largest killers.

 In rural areas, it can take longer to get medical assistance and defibrillators can play an important role.

The new defibrillator will be sited in a secure cabinet. Anyone who calls for an ambulance to help someone who has collapsed will be given a security code to access the cabinet.

Money for the equipment and cabinet will come from the town council‘s parish projects’ budget.

Coun Birchall said she was delighted councillors had unanimously supported the initiative and felt that for a reasonably small amount of money, the equipment had the potential to make a big difference to someone’s life.

*Other defibrillators can be found at the War Memorial Centre (North Street), The Community Centre (Manor House Street), The Astro Bar (Cricket Club) and the Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre.