DEFIBRILLATORS will soon be installed at every household waste recycling centre in Hampshire, the county council has confirmed.

On May 23 Martin Lucas, a 60-year-old truck driver, suffered a heart attack while at the Marchwood tip.

He was taken to University Hospital Southampton for treatment, but did not recover.

Now, Hampshire County Council says it is fast-tracking the installation of defibrillators at all household waste recycling centres, in a bid to ensure this never happens again.

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Cllr Edward Heron, executive lead member for environment and transport strategy, said: "We have been working towards having defibrillators installed at our household waste recycling centres for a couple of months now.

"I’m pleased to say that our waste contractor Veolia has secured 26 units from St John Ambulance and expect to receive those by the end of June, with a view to them being installed on sites as quickly as is reasonably practicable.

"The defibrillators are being installed at the 24 household waste recycling centres in Hampshire and also those in Portsmouth and Southampton."

Martin, who was a member of Ashlett Sailing Club, was disposing of garden waste when the heart attack struck.

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Staff and members of the public rushed to his aid while paramedics were called to the scene.

Hampshire’s tips are run by Veolia, on behalf of the county council.

The company does not yet have a date for the installations, but insists they are ‘imminent’.

A Veolia spokeswoman said: "Veolia is extremely proud to partner with Hampshire County Council to install defibrillators at 26 key sites across the county.

"Our sites are visited by over 1.5m residents every year, so having this equipment available to use in an emergency situation could help to save a life."

Cllr David Harrison represents South Totton and Marchwood at Hampshire County Council.

The Liberal Democrat member said: "Since Martin’s death I’ve learned of another fatality at a Hampshire tip.

"This is something that I’m sure people will greatly welcome – it’s certainly a positive step and there’s a recognition here that small investments can still save lives.

"With ambulance queues at hospitals, it sadly often falls to ordinary people to be the first responders for an incident.

"I think these defibrillators will make everybody feel that little bit safer."

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