The campaign to install life-saving defibrillators across Melton borough and surrounding areas has got off to the best possible start in 2014.
Community access defibrillators have just been installed in Hickling and Barkby and come hot on the heels of successful projects in other communities including Syston, Eastwell and Rempstone.
The defibrillator in Hickling is housed in the old red telephone box and could be the first of four in the area.
John Hand, chairman of Hickling Parish Council (pictured), said: “We are delighted to have worked with the Community HeartBeat Trust to place this defibrillator.
“We are a long way from medical help in the case of a heart attack and the availability of a defibrillator, along with the awareness sessions we’ve had, could make all the difference in an emergency situation. It is also a great use for the old kiosk which dates back to 1936.”
Regulars at The Plough, meanwhile, are busy raising funds for a second defibrillator at that end of the village.
Landlord Bob Rooke said: “A number of years ago someone died from a cardiac arrest while fishing the canal basin so it would be good to have this kit here while the ambulance is on its way should that ever happen again.”
The next fundraising event will be a bands night at the village hall on Saturday, February 15 (7pm), with donations on the door.
The Community HeartBeat Trust has received an anonymous donation for two more of the life-saving kits, and one has already been earmarked for Hickling Pastures.
Martin Fagan, national secretary of the charity, said: “Access to help quickly, along with access to relevant equipment saves lives. Clearly we hope these machines are never used, but at least it gives someone a chance to live.”
The trust is seeking support for up to five more kits for Melton and is working with the East Midlands Ambulance Service to place another 120 across the region, calling on MPs to coordinate fundraising locally for three sites each.
If you can help visit www.communityheartbeat.org.uk