THE first of a network of new life-saving machines has been unveiled.
There were cheers as a publicly-accessible defibrillator was installed on Hayling Island.
The device, which will be available round-the-clock outside The Lifeboat Inn on Sea Front, is the first to be installed by Hayling Island Community Responders.
It is hoped another will be put in the Creek Road area, as well as at Northney, and a card will be produced showing the locations of the defibrillators on the island.
There are already publicly-accessible devices at Hayling College and the community centre.
Meanwhile, volunteers from the community responders have been teaching children as young as six at Mengham Infant School how to use the kit.
It comes as another step in the right direction for The News’ Heartbeat Campaign, which was launched in the summer and aims to get more defibrillators in this area.
Since then, well over a dozen devices have been installed, including at bus stations, dental surgeries, golf clubs and in small villages like Rowlands Castle.
Mark Perryman, from Hayling Island Community Responders, said: ‘Being able to install a defibrillator is a big thing for us. This will be the first one of three.’
The installation would not have been possible without Hayley Wallage, the landlady of the pub, and her customers. Mr Perryman said Eastoke was a good location as it attracts holidaymakers in the summer.
The defibrillators work by ‘shocking’ the heart back into action after someone goes into cardiac arrest.
The equipment used to require hours of training, but now portable, fully automatic defibrillators are being installed in public places, so even amateur first-aiders can administer them with minimal instruction.
‘Early defibrillation is one of the key stages in the chain of survival,’ said Mr Perryman.
The other important factors are getting help from the emergency services and early CPR.
Three responders visited Mengham school, where some Year 2 children learned basic emergency aid and how to dial 999.
Headteacher Lindsay Rebbitt watched as the children were put through their paces with the CPR training manikins, which light up when chest compressions are done correctly.
Phil Pritchard, the responder who organised the session, said: ‘It was great to see how enthusiastic the children were, and how many of them already knew to call 999 in an emergency.’
Mr Perryman added: ‘All the children were able to carry out chest compressions effectively. Finally, the children had the opportunity to try the public access defibrillator trainer – and showed that it’s so simple, a six-year-old can do it!
Six months of success as campaign is supported
Defibrillators installed since July....
Fareham Town Football Club
Furzeley Golf Course in Denmead
Hampshire Cosmetics Ltd, Waterlooville
The Rainbow pub, Waterlooville
Thorngate Halls, Gosport
Havant and Waterlooville FC
St Faith’s Church, Lee-on-the-Solent
Emsworth Community Centre
Southwick Golf Club
Denmead Parish Council installed two devices in Denmead
Cowplain Bowling Club
Havant College and Havant Park
Rowlands Castle Parish Council
Tesco Extra, Havant
Havant and Chichester bus stations and Portsmouth bus depot
The Fareham Pub
Gosport Ferry terminal