THE Braid Valley Vintage Enthusiasts Ltd have handed over a cheque for £2,800 to the new Braid Valley Community First Responders Scheme, for the purchase of two defibrillators and response packs.
Chairman John Crothers presented the cheque to Stephen Lamont and Alan Murray, two of the team working to get the scheme operational by early summer.
Mr Crothers said: “This new scheme was announced this year, so we agreed it was something we were going to support; to help it get it up and running.
“The money was raised at our three events last year, the Spark Plug Road Run in March, our Vintage Gathering at the Sheddings in July and the annual Vintage Classic and Modern Tractor Road Run in September.
“We’re a hard working club of just 24 members. We’re non profit making.
“This year we’ve gone local, we’re helping the very people who come out to help and support us.
“We want to put something back, and this this is a worthwhile cause, helping to save lives in our local community.”
Alan Murray thanked the public for their generosity and emphasised the importance of the new venture.
He added: “Last year in Northern Ireland, there were almost 1,500 out of hospital cardiac arrests: an average of four a day.
“Only one in ten of these people survived to be discharged from hospital. However, with CPR and defibrillation, within three to five minutes of collapse, survival rates can rise to 49% and above.
“That’s a lot of people that can carry on with their lives, enjoying their grandchildren,
“The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service average response time is 11 minutes. The Braid Valley Community First Responders aim to train and organise local people to respond to cardiac arrests in their own community while the ambulance is on its way, and improve survival rates in Broughshane and Ballymena and the surrounding areas”.
Training for the Braid Valley Community First Responders Scheme takes place in May and they hope to be up and running in June.