VOLUNTEERS are celebrating after receiving lifesaving equipment, thanks to the Echo.

Benfleet Community First Responder group respond to immediate, life-threatening 999 calls.

The Gannett foundation, part of the Echo’s parent company, handed them a £1,000 grant to buy a new defibrillator for training.

Earlier this year they purchased a pulse oximeter helping responders to assess if a patient needs oxygen.

David Flood, from the group, said: “The money has made a lot of difference.

“The training automatic defibrillator is identical to the actual one we use, so is brilliant for our training sessions once a month.”

The group has been called to more than 200 incidents this year and raised £182 with their most recent collection at Morrisons, in Hadleigh, to buy winter jackets for the team.

The volunteers train once a month at Runnymede Swimming Pool.

To get involved, call David Flood on 07803 796585.