A MAN who launched a lifesaving campaign to install defibrillators has recorded his life story on a digital archive.

Brian Firth, from Guiseley, set up the Global CPAD (Community Public Access Defibrillators) Campaign seven years ago.

Last year he was presented with the Special Recognition Award at the UK Heart Safe ceremony in Manchester. At that stage the campaign had provided 137 devices and saved six lives.

Mr Firth, 73, originally launched his campaign to raise £1,600 for a public access defibrillator outside Guiseley Morrisons after the death of a customer in the car park. The appeal prompted a huge response, making it possible to provide more and more lifesaving equipment. While the majority have been installed in the Aireborough-Wharfedale area, the scheme now stretches around Yorkshire and Northumberland, Wales, Lancashire, and Scotland. It also inspired the launch of other defibrillator campaigns.

People whose lives have been saved by the campaign include Otley and Yeadon councillor Ryk Downes who himself went on to raise funds for another three CPADs.

A further three defibrillators were provided thanks to the efforts of Yeadon woman Helen Pickford who raised the funds in memory of her husband Mark, who died of a heart attack at the age of 48. Within weeks one of these was used to save the life of Trevor Hopton. Mr Hopton, from Horsforth, has himself gone on to raise funds for two defibrillators.

Mr Firth talks about the campaign, along with other aspects of his life, on the Back-Chat website - https://back-chat.org.uk/ - which was set up by local historian Carlo Harrison as a free community archive.

Among his recollections are boyhood memories of how he rescued and cared for a young owl. He also talks about emigrating to Australia, and Pauline’s Fashions - a shop which he jointly owned with his wife Pauline.

Mr Harrison said: “Brian’s story is a full one, some of its main headings are Community First Responder, Community Public Access Defibrillators (where he has saved lives), Guiseley Memories and, of course, Ollie The Owl. These are just headings - you have to put so many other things into the mix to accurately describe this man’s life not least emigrating to Australia and returning back to the UK. It’s an interesting life. Pauline’s Fashions will stir up memories, the story of Ollie the Owl will have you reaching for the tissues.”