BUTCHER James Sloan proved to be a real cut above the rest when he scaled Scotland’s highest mountain to help save lives in Lochgelly.

The 22-year-old, who works at Hugh Black & Sons in Bank Street, raised more than £1,700 for a public access defibrillator by climbing Ben Nevis.

Thanks to the generosity of their customers, he reached the total in just three weeks and the device – which can prove the difference between life and death when someone suffers a cardiac arrest – was installed outside the shop on Friday.

James said: “I’ve never been much of a hillwalker but just thought why not?

“Getting a defibrillator is part of a campaign in the butcher industry and I think a lot of people locally could relate to it.

“I got help from Wilson’s Garage in Lochgelly, he gave me his climbing gear, and it took six hours and 20 minutes.”

He was joined by colleagues from the Black shop in Armadale and packed some of their tasty treats for the journey to the top.

James laughed: “Everyone else was getting their pic taken at the top eating a pie but mine was long gone by then!

“It was hard going but a good experience.

“I had a Lucozade orange when I’d finished – it was the best bottle I’ve had in my life! – and then lay on the couch.

“I had sore legs for about four days after but no blisters thankfully.”

Someone who has had a cardiac arrest – when the heart stops beating – will be unconscious and will not be breathing properly. Classed as clinically dead, without help the casualty generally has minutes to live.

A defibrillator can deliver an electric shock to try to restore a normal heart rhythm and bring them back from the dead.

Around 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the UK every year, CPR can keep a patient alive until a shock is delivered.

James, who admitted he’s now got the taste for the great outdoors, added: “I’d really like to thank everyone who sponsored me.

“It has been proven how valuable defibrillators are in helping save lives when someone has a cardiac arrest.

“It can happen anywhere, at any time, and if there is a defibrillator available then it could save a life.

“Hopefully it will never be needed but it’s good to know it’s there.”