THEY are quick and easy to use – but they could prove the difference between life or death when a heart attack strikes.

Now civic leaders in a Hampshire village are among the first in the county to install defibrillators at key public buildings in their community.

Botley Parish Council have secured funding to set up two of the lifesaving machines in the Botley Centre and in Market Hall both in High Street.

Parish councillor Graham Hunter campaigned for the machines after a sudden heart condition claimed his daughter Claire Reed’s life.

As previously reported, Mrs Reed collapsed and died while celebrating at a hen do in Taunton in March last year – just five months after getting married. A coroner ruled the 22-yearold accountant died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).

Each year 30,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrests; defibrillators are proven to increase survival rates by three-fold to 75 per cent.

Both machines are expected to be installed by April with each £1,400 machine funded by Eastleigh Borough Council.

Cllr Hunter, 60, who lives in Salway Road, thanked the parish council for their support and said: “These machines can really increase the chances of survival.

“They can be used in five minutes and are important in rural areas where a m b u - lances can take time to arrive.

“Unfortunately Claire didn’t have the luxury of having one nearby and it may have saved her life.”

The family is also hosting their second mass SADS screening session in partnership with the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity today and tomorrow.

A total of 100 people aged 14-35 will be screened for the illness at the booked-up session at Fleming Park Leisure Centre, Passfield Avenue, Eastleigh.