CHIPPENHAM MP Michelle Donelan has praised a Corsham community champion as "a true hero" after seeing a new defibrillator installed in the town.

The town's local MP met up with Michael Grant to thank him for his amazing work in getting the community-funded defibrillator installed at the junction of Broadmead and Woodborough Road in Corsham.

She said: "I was delighted to be able to help with the installation of this fantastic community asset.

"Michael is a true hero not letting anything stand in his way and work around the issues he faced. His tenacity is nothing short of amazing.

"Not only did he galvanise local support for the project, he thought around the issues the project faced to overcome them and has provided training to local residents in how to use the defibrillator in an emergency.

"It is a great idea to base defibrillators on housing estates and hopefully this will inspire more communities to follow. I will do whatever I can to help in this regard so please get in touch.”

Miss Donelan was contacted by Mr Grant in April to help get permission from Wiltshire Council Highways to place the lifesaving equipment on a roadside verge.

The defibrillator was unable to be registered for its manufacturer's 10-year warranty until it had been registered with the ambulance service.

This allowed them to release the code to the cabinet when a 999 call is received for a cardiac arrest.

As part of the terms and conditions of the warranty, the cabinet must be warmed at night to not allow the internal temperature of the cabinet to fall below 0° and also to preserve the battery life of the defibrillator.

She added: "This required an electricity supply to the cabinet, and it goes without saying as this equipment provides the opportunity of an early intervention and drastically increases the chances of survival for anyone in cardiac arrest, time was of the essence to make sure that unnecessary bureaucracy did not impede the 'switching on' of the unit. Michael was able to work out how to convert the cabinet to run on solar power and the result is quite fantastic.

"There are plans a foot to install a similar cabinet in the Katherine Park area of the town and Michael has all the expertise to make it happen but the project needs some further investment to convert the cabinet to run on solar power."

Miss Donelan is urging local residents to look out for the offer of training to be able to use the defibrillator in an emergency and to get in touch if she can help in anyway.