Southsea pub launches drive to buy life-saving defibrillator

Barry Kewell from the Northcote Hotel
Barry Kewell from the Northcote Hotel
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PUBS are joining forces to introduce more life-saving equipment in the community.

Licensed venues in and around Southsea’s Albert Road want to raise cash for a defibrillator, a device which shocks the heart back into action after a cardiac arrest.

Alcohol has different effects on different people; if someone who has been drinking suffers a cardiac arrest, we have had to call a paramedic for help, and that’s not always a quick response.

Barry Kewell, landlord of the Northcote Hotel

The initiative is being led by the Northcote Hotel, which is holding a fundraiser on Saturday to raise money and make a difference.

The equipment would be put up in the pub and available for anyone in the area to use should someone be in danger. Northcote Hotel landlord Barry Kewell, chairman of the Albert Road Pub Watch, said: ‘We have been trying to get things organised and get the place covered.

‘There’s a defibrillator down at the Victoria Road North end of Albert Road, near the dentist surgery, but there’s nothing at the other end. But we’ve decided to raise money for one that can go up in the Northcote.’

Mr Kewell says the move has partly been triggered due to incidents in the past where customers have suffered a cardiac arrest.

Mr Kewell said: ‘Alcohol has different effects on different people. If someone who has been drinking suffers a cardiac arrest, we have had to call a paramedic for help, and that’s not always a quick response.

‘We have had the ambulance service come to our pub watch meetings, and they have agreed to bring someone along once we have bought this equipment to teach everyone how to use it.

‘It means all the publicans and licensed venues in the area will know exactly what to do.’

Two bar staff and one pub regular will get their head shaved at the Northcote fundraiser, which starts at 9pm.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who is leading efforts to introduce more defibrillators in public spaces, backed the initiative.

She said: ‘This is fantastic.

‘It is great to see the community so up for doing this. It is vital that they register it with the ambulance service and get locals trained to use it.’

The News is running the Heartbeat campaign to encourage more defibrillators to be installed in public areas.

And South Central Ambulance Service is running a It’s Not Difficult campaign to raise awareness of how easy it is to give CPR and stop someone dying before an ambulance arrives and they have access to a defibrillator.