TOWNSPEOPLE and businesses will paint the town red – quite literally – in a showy display of gratitude to the trio who donated a much-needed defibrillator to Cricklade.

Shops will don a fiery hue while residents and councillors will sport red from head to toe today as a quirky way to say thanks to osteopath Jolyon Livingston, dentist Dennis Pearce and optometrist Andrew Rhys Evans, who gifted Cricklade with the life-saving machine.

The Ramp up the Red event, a national fundraising day instigated by the British Heart Foundation, will also be the perfect way for the town to collect funds towards vital medical research.

Town clerk Charlotte Rogers-Jones initially planned to create a red window display at the council office to promote the defibrillator. But the concept swiftly grew into a town-wide celebration and fundraiser.

“With Valentine’s Day in mind we wanted a bright heart-related display, which was eye-catching but informative,” she said.

“We have now taken this a bit further and hope that the locals, in having a bit of fun, will also appreciate the valuable contribution to the town that the dental practice, the osteopath and the optometrist have made, by providing the life-saving piece of equipment.”

The £2,000 defibrillator, which was installed four months ago outside Cricklade Dental Practice on the High Street, is designed to deliver an electric current through the chest, which shocks the heart back into a normal rhythm.

After a sudden cardiac arrest, the chances of survival decrease by 23 per cent every minute. Brain death starts after three minutes. Survival rates are five per cent with CPR alone and 50 per cent with defibrillation.

Mr Pearce said gifting the town a defibrillator was the ideal way to give back to the residents who had supported him as well as his colleagues over the past 30 years.

“We have been in the town for about 100 years between us and we thought it would be worth marking the occasion by giving back to the town that was kind enough to use our services,” he said. “We came up with the idea of a defibrillator as something that might benefit somebody.

“Hopefully we will never have to use it but you never know. We were pleased with the town’s response and the feedback we received generally.”

The trio will not sit back and relax but instead will take an active role in the fundraising by putting out red window displays and collecting funds for the British Heart Foundation today.