LIFE saving equipment has been put into place at Salisbury Cathedral.

Two defibrillators, which can make all the difference in the first few minutes after someone has a cardiac arrest, were installed at the cathedral on Friday.

The idea came from the cathedral’s former facilities manager Dene Turner, who died in March last year.

Mr Turner contacted the British Heart Foundation (BHF) after hearing the equipment was in place at York Minster.

David Coulthard, director of marketing and communications, said: “Immediately it was very clearly a good idea. We have got a responsibility to the thousands of visitors who come here every year to make sure we look after them to the best of our ability.

“Technology has moved on and become accessible and this was something that we can do.”

One machine is in the vestry and the other in the bell chamber, which forms part of the cathedral’s tower tour, and staff members have been trained in how to use them.

Research has shown that applying a controlled shock within five minutes of collapse provides the best chances of survival.

Simon Jackson, chairman of Salisbury BHF, said: “We have a national campaign to support anywhere where large numbers of people congregate to have these installed.

“We have 6,000 placed in the community around the UK and it’s making a huge difference. This equipment means that people can provide excellent immediate aid to people in the precious minutes between a cardiac arrest happening and the paramedics arriving.”