COUNCILLOR Tony Hemesley, the chairman of Ryedale District Council, has backed the Gazette & Herald’s Pulse Appeal.

He said defibrillators were vital pieces of equipment and he had personally seen how they can save lives.

“As chairman of St John’s Ambulance in Humberside, I saw how the first one we had saved the life of a 22 year old,” he said.

“I really welcome what the Gazette & Herald is doing – it is terribly important that we do all we can to save lives and life is so precious.”

The Gazette is aiming to buy two defibrillators for Malton and Norton.

A defibrillator, also known as automated external defibrillators (AEDs), is a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest.

When someone has a cardiac arrest, defibrillation needs to be prompt.

Research shows that applying a controlled shock within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chance of survival.

A fundraising event has been organised by Malton Spice in Castlegate, which is holding a special evening on Tuesday, August 3 at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £10 per person and can be booked by phoning 01653 691222.

The Union pub in Commercial Street, Norton, is also holding a quiz night on Sunday, August 14 at 8pm.

Entry is £1 per person with a prize for the winning team. There will also be a raffle with a number of prizes on offer including a cut and blow dry from new Norton hairdressers Salon 17.

Landlady Debbie Cook said they felt it was a worthy cause to support.

“We felt it was a good idea and wanted to do something to help out,” she said.

“It is something that is worth supporting.”

Backing the pub’s efforts is Norton man John Millar, who went to the assistance of 82-year-old Geoffrey Heward, who collapsed in Wheelgate earlier this month and subsequently died.

The Heward family is also backing the campaign and is grateful to Mr Millar and other passers-by who went to Mr Heward’s assistance.

A bank account for the appeal is in the process of being set up. In the meantime anyone wishing to contribute can make out a cheque to the Pulse Appeal and drop it in at the Gazette & Herald office, 21 Yorkersgate, Malton, or phone 01653 695600.

If you want an appeal event publicising, you can also phone the above number.