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Residents push for life-saving device

By Ed Elliot, Penistone Reporter Sunday 8th December 2013
Former paramedic Andy Barker and the defibrillator.

A semi-rural village could become one of the first in South Yorkshire to have its own public defibrillator thanks to a pair of emergency service workers.


Former paramedic Andy Barker and policeman Sean Benson, both residents of Cawthorne, want to install the device for emergency use in the village before an ambulance arrives.


The duo have a cabinet for the equipment and are now looking to raise a total of £740 to pay for the defibrillator.


Andy, 48, of St Julien's Mount, said the equipment is easy to use but training would be offered to residents who felt uneasy about operating it.


"We've been thinking about it for a long while really and got together in the summer," he said.


"I know Cawthorne's not that isolated but if there's a delay getting an ambulance to a cardiac arrest patient, someone can rush and get it and possibly save their life."


The cabinet would be locked on a day-to-day basis and could be opened by obtaining a code from an operator when calling 999.


According to Andy, a number of possible locations for the equipment are being considered.


John Walker, chairman of Cawthorne Parish Council, said it was a nice idea but he felt a few questions needed answering before the idea becomes reality, including how the equipment would be maintained and how potential vandalism would be prevented.


"The big issue is where we would put it," he said.


Firbeck, near Maltby in Rotherham, was the first village in the county to adopt the idea earlier this year.


Donations can be made in the village post office, at the Spencer Arms or by visiting

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