A defibrillator, for use by the local community in the event of an emergency, has been installed by Joe Manby Limited at its Hookstone Park premises.

The Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) enables 24-hour access to emergency equipment and is available for anyone to use when a cardiac arrest is suspected.

A defibrillator gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. Anyone can use it in an emergency as the equipment gives clear spoken instructions to follow and it won’t shock someone unless they need it.

Says Joe Manby Limited divisional director Charles Paines; “From our own experiences, we know medical emergencies can happen to anyone of any age, anywhere and at any time. A recent incident at our factory, which fortunately proved to be a false alarm, prompted our Health and Safety Committee to investigate the opportunity to host a defibrillator, which would also be of benefit to the wider community.”

The defibrillator is one of 17 presented to local community groups across the district thanks to £20,000 funding from Harrogate Borough Council and Harrogate Lions Club. The cost of installation was met by Joe Manby Limited who will also maintain the unit.

Says Charles Paines: “We’d like to thank Harrogate Lions and Harrogate Borough Council for their support with this initiative. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, early medical intervention in the form of CPR and defibrillation can significantly increase their chances of survival so we’re delighted to make the equipment available for everyone’s benefit.”

The defibrillator is located in an easily accessible location on the front of Joe Manby Limited’s Unit 2 factory and is registered with Yorkshire Ambulance Service for use in future emergencies 24 hours a day.

Councillor Sam Gibbs, who chairs Harrogate Borough Council's voluntary and community sector liaison group, said: “I am delighted that the borough council, in partnership with Harrogate Lions Club, has been able to provide these defibrillators to local communities.

"They can save lives, and whilst I hope they never have to be used, it is reassuring to know that so many are now out there across the district."

James Mason, from Harrogate Lions Club, said: "Our members are immensely proud to have been able support and contribute to such a worthwhile scheme."