Blue Ceremonial unitTorquay Fire Station’s Blue Watch has donated a defibrillator to the Service’s Ceremonial Unit.

For the past 20 years, Blue Watch has raised money which they have given annually to both a local Torbay charity and the Fire Fighters Charity. However, this year, following former Torquay Watch Manager Dave Crawford suffering a serious heart attack whilst marching with the Ceremonial Unit in London, they decided to buy the band a defibrillator.

Dave Nott, Blue Watch’s Watch Manager, explained: “We’ve raised thousands of pounds over the past 20 years thanks to the generosity from members of the public who have kindly contributed whilst we have collected in Torquay’s town centre. We’ve always given this money to a local charity and the national Fire Fighters Charity.

“This year though, when we heard about Dave’s heart attack, we thought it would be a great idea to buy the ceremonial unit a defibrillator.”

Ian Washburn, the Ceremonial Unit’s Drum Major, was pleased to receive the life-saving equipment. He said: “This is a fantastic gesture. The ceremonial unit take part in many events across the UK and abroad every year. Blue Watch’s generosity means that we will have a defibrillator wherever we go.”

Dave Crawford suffered his heart attack whilst marching with the unit in London in September. He required a triple by-pass operation and knows he was very fortunate. He said: “I was very lucky as I was taken ill metres from the front door of a London hospital and received immediate life-saving treatment. This defibrillator means that the unit will also be able to offer similar life-saving capability should a member of the public suffer from a cardiac arrest at the events we attend.”

South Devon Group Manager Gerald Taylor added: “Torquay Blue Watch are amazing. They have raised thousands for charity over the years. I’d also like to thank the Heart Start charity who also donated £200 toward the cost of the defibrillator.”