Lifesaving defibrillator installed after fundraising appeal

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 02 September 2019

A lifesaving defibrillator has been given a special blessing after a heart starting boost by locals and generous community fundraisers.

The defibrillator, in its bright yellow case, has been installed
on an exterior wall of The Church Inn, in the shadow of  Saddleworth’s iconic parish church - just six weeks after appeal was launched.

Ron Bunting, aged 86, who attends the parish church and is a customer at the pub, spearheaded the appeal backed by  Caroline Tamworth and pub landlord Julian Taylor because the nearest public access defibrillators are a journey away in the village centre.

The pub and church are pivotal in the community because in addition to their main functions, they are used frequently for parties, concerts, exhibitions, the Rushcart and other festivals.

The nearest public access defibrillators are at Uppermill Civic Hall, Lee Street, and Ebenezer Congregational Church, at the other end of the village.

Said Ron: “However, it is too far to access fast enough in the event of an emergency in and around the Church Inn, St Chad’s Church or the nearby houses.

“It is something we don't like to think about — finding ourselves in a situation where we may have to use one of these.

“Having  quick access to a defibrillator could save the life of someone in our community, maybe someone that we know and love. It's as simple as that.”

The appeal raised more than £500,  but Ron  and Caroline turned to local charity samaritans, Saddleworth Round Table, for support.

Matthew Sykes,  the club’s community projects officer, said: “They  pitched  the idea of installing a defibrillator at The Church Inn.

“Ron explained how critical it is to treat heart attack victims within five minutes of the event, as each minute elapses the chance of survival decreases dramatically.

“The Church Inn, which is a popular with walkers and cyclists, is away from the closest  defibrillator. Round Table were keen to involved with this project and are happy to have supported Ron.”

Rev Hilary Edgerton, assistant priest for the Saddleworth Team, conducted a short act of ‘dedication’ at the defibrillator.  

She said: “I included prayers for those who would have need of the machine, those who would use it and thanks for those whose ingenuity and skill have made it, as well as talking about the need to respect and value all life.  

“And  I used a passage of the Bible to talk about a man who was unable to get the healing he needed unless someone helped him.  The parallel, I hope is obvious.”

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