A NEW defibrillator has been installed in Whitchurch thanks to funds raised by Tavistock firefighters.

The life-saving equipment, which cost £1,000 plus VAT, is now situated in a prominent position on the outside of Whitchurch Post Office ready for the community to use in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Tavistock firefighters raised money during Goose Fair Day in 2016 and 2017 when they rented out their land as a car park for car users and decided to spend the money collected especially for their community.

Glenn Arundel, watch manager responsible for Tavistock, who lost a family member due to a cardiac arrest, said: ‘We all live and work in the community so we all felt it was a good idea to buy something that will benefit the local area. We chose Whitchurch as it is popular but there is not an AED [automated external defibrillator] in the village. Now, with the ones located in Tavistock, it means that there is a better chance for survival of a cardiac arrest in the area.’

Nancy and Martin Summers, business owners of Whitchurch Post Office, said they were delighted to be the location for Whitchurch’s first defibrillator.

Nancy said that the post office was the perfect spot for the machine and both her and Martin were happy to help.

A defibrillator gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest and is an essential life-saving step in the chain of survival. Around 30,000 people have a cardiac arrest each year outside the confines of a hospital. The chance of survival after the heart stops falls by around 10% for every minute that passes without defibrillation, which is vital as it can take the emergency services several minutes, or possibly longer, to arrive.

There are several other defibrillators available in the town, including one in the Bedford Hotel and one on the outside of Tavyside Health Centre.

• All members of the public are invited to an AED training day on March 17 at Whitchurch Village Hall, held by the South Western Ambulance Service.