Residents in Westhoughton are being invited to learn to save a life this New Year.

Every New Year many people decide to challenge themselves by learning a new skill, and this year councillors in Westhoughton are hoping to provide vital training for the use of defibrillators.

Westhoughton councillor, Neil Maher, is leading a Westhoughton Town Council project to ensure every part of the town has an accessible defibrillator.

Defibrillation is a treatment for life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, and a defibrillator delivers a dose of electric current to the heart.

Now the town council has teamed up with the North West Ambulance Service to provide two free training courses for anyone interested in learning how to use a defibrillator.

Neil, who had a 20-year-long career in the North West Ambulance Service, said: “By knowing how to use a defibrillator effectively, you could become a life saver.

“That’s why I’m delighted that we’re able to provide this training for residents.”

Cllr David Wilkinson said: “The reason we are doing the defibrillator training is because Cllr Neil Maher, a former NHS worker, is trying to ensure that all the gaps where there are no defibrillators are being covered in Westhoughton.

“We have got quite a number of people who have installed defibrillators but there are some gaps.

“We had a visit from the North West Ambulance Service at the end of last year and one of the things that was asked of them was to install more defibrillators and also training for members of the public, so they have some confidence if an event arises where they need to use a defibrillator.

“And I’m glad to say that the North West Ambulance people said they would look into it, and they have come back, and we have now got two training sessions for anybody in Westhoughton, it is free, and it will happen on one Tuesday and one Saturday, and we are hoping that as many people as possible will take the opportunity.

“The training will be provided by North West Ambulance Service.”

The training is open to any members of the public aged 11 years and upwards.

Residents who complete the training will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the end of the session.

Sessions are taking place on Tuesday, January 30 at 7pm and Saturday, February 3 at 2pm.

Both sessions are in the Carnegie Hall.

Contact Pauline Rowley, Westhoughton Town Clerk, to sign up for one of the sessions by email at or by calling or texting 07921862603.

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