Swimmers have welcomed the arrival of potentially lifesaving equipment at Great Harwood’s Mercer Hall Leisure Centre.
Great Harwood Otters, who use the centre, are delighted at the announcement that two defibrillators and training units will be installed at the centre.
Some £2,000 of funding was allocated from the Great Harwood Area Council budget to purchase the equipment, which will be available to all residents and community groups who use the facility. The club has around 100 swimmers who use the building up to four times a week.
Joyce Miller, Otters club secretary, said they were driven by the tragic loss of 12-year-old Oliver King from Liverpool who had a heart condition and died during a swimming lesson.
Mrs Miller said: “We are delighted that Hyndburn council feel just as strongly as we do about the importance of having a defibrillator in Great Harwood.
“Now they have granted us the funds we will be able to purchase not one but two defibrillators and training units thanks to the Oliver King Foundation.
“The training unit is a vital part of the package as staff within Mercer Hall are eager to receive this equipment and are all going to become fully trained defibrillator users.”
The Otters have been campaigning since 2012 to have the life-saving equipment within Mercer Hall and it will mean the centre can be designated a ‘Community Resuscitation Department’.
Mrs Miller added: “Knowing that a fully trained defibrillator operator with full CPR training will be with the person in need in a matter of minutes is vital to hopefully helping save someone’s life.”
Heather Alexander, head of customer and facility services at Mercer Hall, said it was a ‘fantastic opportunity’.
She said: “It will be great for the community and such a bonus. It is something we have been after for a while.”
Ward councillor Ciaran Wells said the equipment will be of benefit to the whole area.