A GROUP of First Responders are hoping to raise more than £13,000 to get ten defibrillators installed in and around Colchester town centre.

The Colchester First Responders, who are all volunteers, said they are hoping to “flood” the town centre with public access defibrillators.

Kevin Boyle, one of the First Responders, said: “There are only three public access defibs in the whole of Colchester, none of which are in the town centre where there is a massive footfall.

“In recent months, I have attended two cardiac arrests in the town centre.

“On my arrival there was no defib attached to the patient as there are none available.

“Thankfully we managed to get both patients back.”

Before Christmas, a man suffered a cardiac arrest outside the Slug and Lettuce on the High Street. Mr Boyle said more equipment was needed to help in incidents like this.

Each defibrillator, which includes a storage unit, will cost the first responders £1,350. The First Responders are calling on people and businesses to donate to the scheme.

Mr Boyle said: “What we are looking to do is train people in CPR as well through our Heart Start scheme.

“This would be useful for the likes of parking wardens as they are constantly out and about in the town centre.”

They are looking to get at least four defibrillators in the town centre and another six scattered around the surrounding area.

He said: “I think having none in the town centre is absolutely shocking.” Mike Lilley, Colchester councillor responsible for public safety, said it was a viable plan.

He said: “We were talking the other day about possibly getting a defibrillator in St Peter’s Church.

“It would also be handy to have one at the Odeon and at Firstsite.

“It’s doable as long as people are trained up, it would be good to have them there. You have to be in favour of something which saves someone’s life.”

The King Coel’s Kittens was invited to a Colchester First Responders training night at the Philip Morant School.

It was after the charity pledged to give £2,000 to the team, to buy much needed equipment including hi-vis jackets.

Jackie Bowis, from King Coel’s Kittens, said the group deserved some support. If you are able to contribute towards fundraising, email col.cfr@gmail.com.