The first defibrillator purchased by a new charity is to be installed in Richmond.
The charity, Heart of Richmond, aims to put in place the life-saving equipment at locations across Richmond.
The charity has been launched by Richmond businessman, Lee Whitworth, an ex-serviceman who runs A&E Harmonious Compliance Training Limited with his wife Alison.
Lee is also a volunteer community responder and says he knows first-hand the importance of rapid action in the event of a medical emergency.
“We are initially aiming to get at least three units installed, however I would love to see twenty or more in the not too distant future. The ultimate goal would be to have a unit within half a mile of all Richmond houses, enabling many more lives to be saved in the event of cardiac arrest.
“My work is dedicated to teaching people not just to save lives, but to have the confidence to do so. Having these units available means that a 999 operator can direct a caller to the nearest box, give them the access code and talk them through the process of using the defibrillator.
“This can quite literally mean the difference between life and death for the patient.”
Lee is being supported by local businesses including Neeps and Tatties Greengrocers, which is helping him raise the money needed for the defibrillators.
he also has the support of North Yorkshire County Council and Richmond ward member Stuart Parsons.
Stuart said: “There are lots of businesses taking the initiative and installing defibs on site, but there are few readily available to the public in our area.
“To see someone dedicating their time to fundraising and changing this is marvellous and our town stands to benefit from this greatly.”
The first defibrillator is to be installed on a lamppost in Darlington Road to serve Whitefields, St Nicholas Road and Ronaldshay areas.
Suggestions for the location of the next installation are welcome.
For more details on the scheme or to make a donation, visit https://www.facebook.com/HeartofRichmondNY/.