Morley Town Hall to get defibrillator after visitor suffers heart attack 'with lack of first aid provision'
Lifesaving equipment will be installed next week at Morley Town Hall after a guest suffered a heart attack during the town's Festival of Remembrance ceremony.
The organising commitee for the event, held annually in November to honour the fallen war heroes from Leeds, reached out to Leeds City Council's top boss Tom Riordan for help with maintaining a defibrillator after discovering there was limited first aid provision inside the building.
Now the council has pledged to fund and install the lifesaving equipment, just weeks after the guest collapsed during the poignant ceremony at the town hall in Queen Street.
The closest defibrillator, housed inside a phone box, was a short distance away from the building and requires a code to unlock.
Terry Grayshon, chairman of the Morley Remembrance Committee, told the YEP: "When I arrived I was told he wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse.
"I'm a trained aider and it was apparent that this needed someone with medical skills. It seemed to take a while [to fetch the defibrillator].
"It was all quite an awful experience really".
Visitors, including an NHS consultant and an air cadet from the crowd, carried out chest compressions until paramedics arrived and the guest was taken to hospital.
He is now making a good recovery, Mr Grayshon, 54, said.
More than 550 people were in the building at the time and organisers made the decision to continue the ceremony, in light of its significance during the centenary year marking the First World War.
But it then sparked Mr Grayshon to contact the council over the lack of provision, after he was unable to even find a blanket in the building when the guest collapsed.
He offered to pay for the defibrillator and new first aid kits with the committee's own funds but asked if the council could help to maintain the equipment.
"There wasn't even a blanket and there was limited first aid provision," Mr Grayshon said.
"The council responded saying they would supply the equipment.
"This is something positive coming out of such a terrible experience.
"I'm pleased now that this equipment has been promised because the town hall is such a popular building."
A spokesman for the council said Morley Town Hall was equipped with "standard first aid provision".
He added: “Having listened closely to representations that were made, we will be placing and maintaining a defibrillator in the main events space of Morley Town Hall from next week which will be accessible to all people using the building.
"Currently access to a defibrillator is available in a location very close to the town hall, and standard first aid provision is available in the building.”