WANBOROUGH is one of the first villages in the Swindon area to install three defibrillators which members of the public can use in emergencies. The defibrillators deliver an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a heart attack.

Wanborough Parish Council chairman Gary Sumner, said: “We saw the people that sell the defibrillators in the summer of last year and they came and gave a demonstration in the village. “We decided to get them because our doctor’s surgery has ties with one in Ramsbury, and nurses there were very keen on the idea. “There was also one installed on the High Street in Marlborough and we thought it would be a good thing to have in case of an emergency.” The machines have been installed at three locations around the village, including at the village hall, the sports facility at Hooper’s Field and in Upper Wanborough. The equipment cost the council £6,000, and residents will be able to use the equipment in an emergency following a telephone authorisation and guidance by the ambulance service. Gary said: “They are fantastic self-contained units which will be very obvious but which can only be accessed in a genuine emergency following a telephone authorisation by the ambulance service.

“And they will talk the user through the steps of saving a patient’s life following a heart attack or similar event. “Their clever design means they can do no harm, as the unit assesses the requirements of the patient. “There is no chance of electrocuting someone because the machine will work out for itself how much of a shock the person needs. “The few minutes following a heart attack are crucial and, although we hope they will never be used, they are a positive advantage to Wanborough residents and visitors in an emergency.” The chances of surviving a heart attack decrease by 23 per cent every minute after the event. After three minutes the brain shuts down. Survival rates are five per cent with CPR alone and 50 per cent with defibrillation. To find out more about the Community Heartbeat Trust visit www.communityheartbeat.org.uk.