A CAMPAIGN for more lifesaving defibrillators is being launched after the death of a man who collapsed at the wheel of his car.
The 84-year-old motorist suffered a suspected heart attack moments before his vehicle collided with a wall in Fell Lane, Keighley.
Now a town councillor, whose wife gave CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in a desperate bid to save the man, is pushing for a defib in that area and at other currently-uncovered spots across Keighley.
"It's impossible to say if the existence of a defibrillator in this particular tragic case would have affected the outcome but the fact is they do save lives," said Councillor Ian Dermondy, who has already successfully spearheaded efforts to get five installed in parts of the town.
"I've been speaking to residents and seemingly it's not the first time this kind of thing has happened in the Fell Lane area, where there is no publicly-accessible defibrillator at the moment.
"There are a couple of possible locations where one could be provided and I'm looking at this.
"Ultimately I would like to see a defibrillator in every ward, that is my aim, but of course it's reliant on funds – they cost about £2,000 each.
"It's a big ask to raise that kind of money and it won't be easy, but what price for saving a life?
"A defibrillator may not successfully revive a patient every time, but at least the presence of one gives a chance and provides reassurance.
"And the more the town has, the safer people will feel.
"If anybody wants to work with me on this I would be very happy to speak to them.
"It's such an important issue."
The 50-year-old store manager has been at the helm of an initiative which has seen the provision of four devices at locations across the town centre, plus one at East Morton.
They were funded by the area's Clinical Commissioning Group, but cash for more will have to be found elsewhere.
"We know they've been used four or five times – although we don't know the results of that usage," added Cllr Dermondy.
"I have angina myself so am aware of the importance of having these defibrillators available.
"My hope would be that we would never need them and they would just gather dust, but let's have them everywhere just in case.
"Helping people and making a difference is something that I've always held dear and that is a driving force for me."
His wife, Annette, was walking along Fell Lane when the incident happened at about 11.30am last Friday, near Fred's Convenience Store.
"She rushed across to see what she could do to help," said Cllr Dermondy.
"She rang for an ambulance and the operator gave CPR and mouth-to-mouth instructions to her over the phone.
"Annette had done some CPR training before so had awareness of it.
"She kept going until an ambulance crew arrived and took over.
"I don't know who this chap was but I hope that any family or friends will find some solace from the knowledge that he wasn't alone and somebody was there with him."
The motorist, whose identity has not been released by police, was driving a Suzuki Vitara.
No other vehicle was involved.
Police, paramedics and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance attended.
An appeal for witnesses has been issued.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101, quoting log 622 of Friday 12 May.