Community leaders unveil plan to roll out life-saving defibrillators across Portsmouth

From left, Mark King, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt and Keith Mcallister
From left, Mark King, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt and Keith Mcallister
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COMMUNITY leaders have pulled together a plan to roll out life-saving heart equipment across Portsmouth.

City MP Penny Mordaunt and campaign group The Oliver King Foundation want to ensure there is a defibrillator 10 minutes from anywhere of the scene of a cardiac arrest.

We want them in organisations and have all the training provided that goes with it, and have defibrillators 10 minutes from anywhere, whether it’s in your local pub, fish and chip shop or school.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt

And they want every school to have one and have a group of staff trained to use it.

To get the proposal off the ground, they want to lobby schools to put together a bid for funding to the council.

Ms Mordaunt wants organisations who already have one to get in touch so she can put together a master map so she can work out where there are holes and defibrillators need to be.

It comes as The News launched its Heartbeat campaign this summer raising awareness of the need for more defibrillators in busy public places, including schools, shopping centres, railway and bus stations, gyms, workplaces and community centres.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘The idea is we built a really resilient city and roll out defibrillators.

‘We want them in organisations and have all the training provided that goes with it, and have defibrillators 10 minutes from anywhere, whether it’s in your local pub, fish and chip shop or school.

‘It means if there is a 999 call, the ambulance or fire service know where they are.’

A defibrillator ‘shocks’ the heart back into action – which could increase the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest by as much as 50 per cent.

Individual defibrillators cost £750 and it’s about £250 to train a team of 12 people to know how to operate it.

Mark King set up the Oliver King Foundation in memory of his son Oliver, 12, who died of a cardiac arrest during a routine swimming session at his school in Liverpool.

Mr King met Ms Mordaunt at her city office in 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, to talk more about their plans to get more defibrillators put in place.

Speaking about the importance of the campaign, Mr King said: ‘We lose 19 young people each year across the country. This condition shows no signs or symptoms.

‘You need a defibrillator to re-start your heart when you have a cardiac arrest.

‘This needs addressing and has got to have cross-party support.’