Lifesaving defibrillator will benefit five Teesdale villages

FIVE rural villages have been given access to lifesaving equipment.

A defibrillator has been installed at the village hall in Butterknowle, near Bishop Auckland, and will also serve residents of nearby Lynesack, Copley, South Side and Woodland.

It is one of 10 being fitted to community buildings in a project called Save a Life run by the Teesdale Village Halls Consortium.

Klara Whiley, secretary of Butterknowle Village Hall, said fitting the defibrillator to the outside of the building was a worthwhile thing to do.

“Just recently, there was an incident up at Middleton-in-Teesdale during which the defibrillator there was used and contributed to saving a life,” she said.

“We have a doctor's surgery in the village, but it is obviously not open 24 hours a day, and we are a rural community so it takes time for paramedics and ambulances to get here.”

Butterknowle Village Hall will now become an Established Base Responder site for the North east Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

While the defibrillator includes basic instructions for use, some 20 village hall committee members and residents have undergone training to familiarise themselves with the equipment.

Mrs Whiley said the village hall committee would be responsible for any running costs associated with the defibrillator and also hoped to raise £500 for the village halls consortium.

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