A MAN who set up a campaign to buy defibrillators is now petitioning the government to help keep them in service by paying for replacement batteries and pads.

Brian Firth, from Guiseley, launched his lifesaving campaign to install defibrillators for the public to use in emergencies more than seven years ago.The Campaign proved hugely successful and now has a total of 151 CPADs (Community Public Access Defibrillators) which have been used to save at least eight lives. He is now asking people to help keep them in use by signing his petition.

Mr Firth said: "In addition to having raised the £250,000 plus to fund the original cost of the CPADs, we are now continually having to raise funds to cover the cost of replacement pads etc. The pads expire every two years and cost £45 per set, plus they need replacing following being used in an emergency. The batteries expire every four years at a replacement cost of £245 each.

"There are a number of issues now highlighting the difficulties of keeping CPAD`s in service and rescue ready, although ironically I have found that our local communities have been very supportive, sometimes raising the required funds within hours. That is partially because I now have a team of volunteer CPAD Guardians who do regular checks and help with fundraising."

He said: "The Yorkshire Ambulance Service supported my Campaign, even launching their own Campaign six months after I launched mine, placing a number of CPAD`s within Yorkshire. However, they had hoped that local parish councils would then fund them on an ongoing basis. Some councils agreed to this, but many did not. The Ambulance Service then contacted myself to see if I was prepared to include them in my campaign and take over the ongoing funding of consumables, which I agreed to do.

"I have had a number of community groups around Yorkshire contact me over the last two years explaining that they had a CPAD

in their community that they had originally funded through local projects, but were now having to take out of service because of

the lack of funds to replace the pads and batteries. They were hopeful that I may be able to take them over in addition to mine

which I agreed to do."

He said Covid-19 had restricted some of the fundraising activities in most communities. He believes if the petition is successful it will benefit every community in the UK.

Visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/570331to find the petition. At 10,000 signatures government will respond to the petition. At 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in Parliament. In 2017 Mr Firth was named national fundraiser of the year with the UK Heart Safe Awards.