Freemasons in Horncastle have donated a ‘substantial’ amount of money to town-based charity LIVES as part of scheme to boost the number of community defibrillators.
Lincolnshire’s 3,400 Freemasons are working with LIVES to make more lifesaving defibrillators available.
Under a new arrangement, Freemasons are investing at least £20,000 to meet the aim of installing defibrillators outside their 21 centres in Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, and North East Lincolnshire.
A Freemasons spokesman said: “We have an agreement with LIVES to make sure they are maintained, with all funds going back into supporting the charity
“The move is intended to make defibrillators available to everyone in the community around the clock, permanently ready to respond.
“The involvement of volunteers from LIVES, Lincolnshire’s Community First Responder charity, will ensure that the equipment is professionally maintained.
Members of the Bicentenary Lodge of Installed Masters at Horncastle have made their own substantial donation to the work, which is being co-ordinated by Barton Freemason Phil Spicksley.
“He said: “We have had defibrillators in our Masonic centres for eight years, but until now they have been fitted inside, and therefore available only to those using the buildings.
“To make these arrangements for them to be outside, and therefore available to anyone who needs them, is a natural extension of Freemasonry’s growing openness.”
The Freemasons’ Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler said: “We have a long tradition of support for the community at large.
“Working in partnership with LIVES to provide defibrillators outside our buildings means they will be available for the community as a whole, not just our own members.
“We see this as a way of making sure that Freemasons continue to be good neighbours, which is why we have agreed to cover all the costs involved.”
Kirsty Raywood,from LIVES, said: “We are thrilled to be working alongside the Freemasons to move all of their defibrillators outside so that they are available around the clock.
“Around 30,000 people in the UK experience an out of hospital cardiac arrest each year.
“The potential for saving a life is dependent upon time; the faster medical help can be obtained the better the chance of survival.
“Clinical studies suggest you have less than five minutes from the onset of the event to save the patient’s life.”