Gisburn unveils its first defibrillator

Matt Dugdale (left) and festival hall secretary David Waters with the defibrillator at the festival hall. (s)
Matt Dugdale (left) and festival hall secretary David Waters with the defibrillator at the festival hall. (s)

A Ribble Valley village’s first public access defibrillator has been unveiled.

The life-saving equipment at Gisburn Festival Hall has been bought by villagers who raised £3,700 following several fund-raisers.

Started in September these included Gisburn Cubs completing a £5 challenge and raising £550, Gisburn Primary School children adding £113 from the sale of Christmas cards, and a charity lunch hosted by Cinzia and Maurizio Bocchi at their restaurant, La Locanda, which raised £2,655.

Matt Dugdale, co-ordinator of the project to install defibrillators across the Ribble Valley, praised villagers’ efforts.

“Gisburn has truly been the shining star of all the villages and certainly the village I talk about when I go to all the other meetings,” he said. “The £5 challenge with the Cubs was fantastic.”

Festival Hall secretary and parish councillor David Waters, who spearheaded the fund-raising, said: “We set a target of £1,500 to buy one defibrillator and external cabinet for the village. I never expected we would achieve more than double that amount in just a few months. That has allowed us to buy a second defibrillator, which will soon be located towards the eastern end of the village.”

He added: “It was wonderful to see so many local people get involved in this project. I was particularly impressed by the children’s efforts. They clearly realise the value of this equipment. We hope we never have to use them, but if they help save one person’s life then it is money well spent.”

The defibrillator is registered with the North-West Ambulance Service and should it be required in an emergency people will be directed to its location and instructed on what to do.

There will be a defibrillator familiarisation course, run by the ambulance service, at Gisburn Festival Hall on Monday, March 7th, from 7 to 9 pm. The course is free and people are encouraged to go along.