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Life saving equipment installed at Ellesmere Port police station

The Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which was paid for by funds raised by the family of a well-known and much loved local pensioner.

It was put in place on Saturday 8 December.

The device can be used by anyone - including members of the public - if someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

A charity raffle was held in August by the family of Billy Birch to raise money for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS). A decision was made to put the money to good use by buying the vital piece of equipment.

Billy, who was a local fundraiser, died in December 2017 after a short illness. He was well-known within the local community and, over the years, he had helped to raise more than £113,000 for good causes.

The 76-year-old started fundraising in 1991 in memory of his wife, Sylvia.

Billy’s family along with representatives from Ellesmere Port local policing unit, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Deputy Mayor Councillor Paul Donovan and Justin Madders MP attended Ellesmere Port police station to see the defibrillator unveiled.

Inspector Ian Stead, of Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit, said: “Billy was a well-known community advocate and throughout his life he raised thousands of pounds for local charities and good causes.

“Even now, 12 months on from his death, it is wonderful to see that he is still making a real difference to the local community.

“I’ve no doubt this life-saving piece of equipment can really be a godsend when needed and we are delighted and grateful to Billy’s family for helping to put this in place.”

NWAS operators are trained to help people in the community, who have no experience of using a defibrillator, by providing instructions over the phone on how to use them safely and effectively.

Nick Blair, Community Resuscitation Officer for The North West Ambulance Service said “It was a privilege to know Billy Birch. Billy worked tirelessly to raise funds for many local charities. He was a staunch supporter of NWAS, and will be sadly missed by many.

“Early defibrillation gives patients in cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival which is why it’s so important that community access defibrillators are available in as many places as possible. Billy would be proud to know that his legacy has provided a machine which can potentially save lives.”

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