A COMMUNITY transport group in Malmesbury has become the first in Wiltshire to install a defibrillator on a minibus.

Malmesbury and District Community Transport helps older and less able people travel around the Malmesbury area but due to the intervention by Cllr Ray Sanderson they may also have a new job.

The new £1,000 defibrillator that has been installed in the bus has two settings, one for adults and one for children meaning it can be used in a variety of settings.

An alarm is fitted to the minibus and the defibrillator itself is being registered with the ambulance service and the police, allowing it to be tracked by its location.

As a result of this, and because both drivers of the minibus are trained first aiders the minibus could become a new medical first responder, able to answer calls in the area when ambulances would take longer to arrive.

This idea occurred to Cllr Sanderson when he was organising the new defibrillator in his role as chairman of the Community Heartbeat Trust.

“It was obvious that there could be a problem with someone maybe having a heart attack so we decided to purchase a defibrillator,” said Cllr Sanderson.

“It was a forward thinking thing but we know it’s also the first minibus in Wiltshire that carries a defibrillator.

“The ambulance service could ask the bus driver to divert to any incidents and use the defib or to hand it over.”

He added: “If it saves one life then it will have been worth a thousand quid.”

Defibrillators in Malmesbury are already installed in several places throughout the town, most prominently on the front of the town hall in the Cross Hayes car park.

These machines are not frequently in use but recently two were needed at the same time and it seems unlikely that another, funded by the community, will be used if it is out and about with the possibility of acting as a first responder.

For further information on the use of the minibus call the town council on 01666 822143.