Horncastle councillor calls for county-wide defib’ register


A Horncastle town councillor has called for a comprehensive county-wide register of life-saving defibrillators to be introduced after claiming the current system is ‘a cause for concern’.

Coun Phil Cantwell owns the award-winning Thai Dining and Riverside Grill restaurant in West Street.

Speaking at a town council meeting, Coun Cantwell said a woman collapsed on the floor of his premises.

He said he dialled 999 but was told by an operator the nearest defibrillator was at least 500 yards away in the town centre, on a wall outside the Co-op Pharmacy.

However, local knowledge meant Coun Cantwell was aware of a defibrillator ‘just across the road’ from his restaurant, outside The Crown public house.

Coun Cantwell said: “I rang 999, told them a woman had collapsed and they said ‘We’ll be there in 45 minutes’.

“The operator told me that, in the meantime, the nearest defibrillator was at the Co-op.

“I told her ‘No, there is one across the road, but she had no record of that’.

“After I explained who I was, she eventually back-tracked but told me the one across the road wasn’t on her system.”

As it turned out, the woman did not require a defibrillator, but Coun Cantwell added the extra time getting to the town centre could have had potentially serious consequences.

He said: “It’s quite a concern that the ambulance service don’t know where these ‘defibs’ are.

“Apparently, there’s no register in Lincolnshire. That has to be a cause for concern.”

Coun Cantwell said many towns and villages were raising money for defibrillators but claimed it was a worry if operators weren’t aware of the exact locations.

He added: “Can we do something? There needs to be a register.”

Town clerk Gillian Mauger said she understood defibrillators had to be registered with LIVES, the Horncastle-based first responder charity, who then passed on details to the emergency services. She confirmed she would contact LIVES.