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Blackshawhead launches crowd-funded defibrillators

Monday, 6 March 2017

On Saturday 4th March, two newly installed defibrillators in Blackshawhead went online with a training and 'launch' event, attended by around 30 residents, including the Chairman of the Parish Council and Yorkshire Ambulance Service.


John Spikings from Yorkshire Ambulance Service (centre), launching the defibrillator at Blackshaw Methodist Chapel, with Edith Bowman (second left), Chairman of Blackshaw Parish Council, Roger Butterworth (centre) and other residents.

The defibrillators were paid for by people living in and around the hilltop village in response to an appeal by Edith Bowman, a local resident, together with Blackshaw Parish Council. Yorkshire Ambulance Service match-funded the amount raised, meaning that the village could afford to buy two of these pieces of life-saving equipment.

Edith had approached the Parish Council for help in exploring options for defibrillators. As a result, John Spikings from Yorkshire Ambulance Service was invited to a council meeting and gave an inspiring talk at a about how defibrillators can make the difference between life and death.

Six minute video of the event from Cat's Eye Film

Edith said “When my husband had a heart attack in March 2015, although the ambulance got here as quickly as it could, it made us realise that, had it been a full-blown cardiac arrest, it might have been too late. Blackshawhead can be difficult to get to, especially in winter.

"We didn't want anybody else to be in that situation, so when Yorkshire Ambulance Service came to talk to the Parish Council and announced they'd just set up a part funding scheme for defibrillators, we were determined not to miss this opportunity.

"I put out an email on the village Google group saying that we were trying to purchase a defibrillator. The community responded immediately and the pledges came pouring in - so much so we've managed to buy 2 without even needing to apply for other sources of funding."

One of the defibrillators is located at the New Delight pub, at Jack Bridge, and the other at Blackshawhead Methodist Chapel, and both these venues have kindly agreed to fund electricity costs to the cabinet. The money raised by the village appeal also covered a training session for residents on how to use the defibrillators, which everyone enjoyed and valued.