A NEW campaign to boost resuscitation training and equipment has been backed by a Ribble Valley golfer and Rossendale comedian whose lives were saved by quick-thinking first aiders after heart attacks.

Chris Ennis and Ted Robbins were minutes from death when trained people nearby administered CPR, preventing their cardiac arrests from becoming fatal.

They are supporting the ‘Lancashire Lifesavers’ campaign launched at County Hall, Preston, by former councillor Tony Jones, who only survived a collapse while speaking because fellow politician and trained nurse John Fillis, radio reporter Mike Stevens and local government officer Matt Dean rushed to his rescue.

The drive aims for 2,500 people to sign up for CPR training courses and instal 40 new defibrillators at key locations.

Downham handyman Mr Ennis, who suffered a heart attack in August 2016 while leaving the 11th hole at Clitheroe Golf Club, said: “Without the people I was playing with and a defibrillator in the clubhouse, I would not be here today.

“I had no warning. CPR training and more defibrillators will save lives and families from tragedy.”

Crawshawbooth’s Mr Robbins, whose life was saved by a paramedic in the audience when he collapsed at the Manchester Arena in January 2015, said: “I am passionate about this.

“Without someone in CPR training in the audience I would not have survived.”

Lancashire Lifesavers is a joint campaign between BBC Radio Lancashire, the North West Ambulance Service and Lancashire County Council.

Free training sessions will be held in Blackburn, Chorley, and Burnley starting on April 16.

Mr Jones said: “This campaign will mean hundreds of people will gain vital lifesaving skills.”

It is the brainchild of Blackburn-based Mr Stevens, who had first aid training a week before the incident.

He said: “This is all about equipping people right across Lancashire with the knowledge and confidence to cope in a life-threatening situation.”

Cheryl Pickstock, from NWAS will lead the training sessions and co-ordinate the installation of the defibrillators paid for by £30,000 from the county council.

Scheduled training sessions include: April 18, Blackburn, BBC Radio Lancashire, Darwen Street; April 19, Chorley, Astley Hall; April 20, Burnley, Towneley Park City Learning Centre; April 25 Blackburn, BBC Radio Lancashire; April 27, Burnley, Towneley Park City Learning Centre; April 28, Blackburn, BBC Radio Lancashire; May 2, Blackburn, BBC Radio Lancashire; May 3, Chorley, Astley Hall; May 4, Burnley, Towneley Park City Learning Centre; May 9, Blackburn, BBC Radio Lancashire; and May 11 Burnley Towneley Park City Learning Centre.