Fundraisers in Clipsham ready to save lives after buying defibrillator

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A life-saving piece of equipment has been unveiled at a popular pub, thanks to the efforts of villagers who raised funds to buy it.

The new defibrillator has been installed in the car park at The Olive Branch in Clipsham and was the brainchild of villager Tony Roulstone.

Mr Roulstone started thinking about installing the defibrillator following an accident in the village in which his neighbour was knocked down by a stolen forklift tractor in 2010.

Kirby Hamill sustained injuries to her face, legs and arm but has since recovered.

Mr Roulstone said: “It took quite a long time for an ambulance to get to us because we are so rural.

“The lady was very lucky but it did get me thinking.”

Mr Roulstone approached the village meeting with the idea of installing the defibrillator, which shocks the heart back to a normal rhythm following a cardiac arrest, and other residents backed the idea.

The Karen Ball Trust, a Rutland-based charity, agreed to fund half the £2,000 cost and the villagers paid the remaining cost.

It was installed at The Olive Branch because it is a prominent place in the village that everyone knows.

Mr Roulstone added: “It is good we have now got it there but hopefully we won’t have cause to use it.”

Last week about 40 villagers were shown how to use the device by Martin Fagan, from the Community Heartbeat Trust, a charity which works to get defibrillators installed in rural villages.