A NEW lifesaving device has been installed and unveiled in a West Devon village thanks to fundraising by the local fire brigade.

Residents and visitors to Hatherleigh now have access to a defibrillator at a central location in the village in the event of an emergency.

Hatherleigh Fire Station personnel raised the money to buy the equipment after carrying out a ‘hose run’ in October. The team ran out 308 lengths of hose and joined them all up between the locations of Exbourne and Hatherleigh, a total of 4.9-miles.

The firefighters raised a total of £1,500 and with a further donation of £300 from the Hatherleigh Moor Management Committee and £360 from local funding, the purchase figure was reached.

The local Co-op was chosen as an easily accessible location in the centre of town to site the machine, which can be used via a push button mechanism and available to use 24 hours a day.

Hatherleigh Fire Station watch manager Kevin Drew said: ‘We wanted to raise funds for the community and provide them with a defibrillator. Our station responds to many medical emergencies as co-responders and we know how valuable this equipment is in saving lives and now having one available for the whole community is fantastic.

‘The defibrillator is a great resource for the community of Hatherleigh allowing the user the opportunity to administer life saving assistance to cardiac arrest victims. Full training on its use will be provided by Westcountry Ambulance Service at the fire station on a date to be confirmed and all are welcome to attend. Details will be posted around the town when available.

‘It has been a lot of work getting to this point but everyone has been extremely generous and it will be well worth it if it is needed in an emergency.’

Station manager Mark Sanders of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘We’d like to thank everyone in the community who supported this initiative. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, early medical intervention can significantly increase their chances of survival.

‘The station personnel have a long tradition of raising funds for charities and vital equipment, and this is complemented by the community of Hatherleigh who always dig deep to support them. We were also delighted that Councillor James McInnes, Devon County Council member for Hatherleigh and Chagford division, was able to provide some funds from his community locality budget to help get the funds over the line.’

Cllr McInnes said: ‘I was delighted to be able to help contribute to this event and help provide this life-saving equipment for the community of Hatherleigh.’