MATTHEW Patis was stunned when he discovered his nearest publicly-accessible defibrillator was almost 10 miles away.
He then set about getting a defibrillator installed for people to use in the Hart Plain, Wecock and Cowplain areas of Waterlooville.
The 41-year-old plumber is backing our Heartbeat campaign to get more of the devices installed.
Mr Patis learned about the need for more defibrillators when he was doing a first aid course with his wife.
He is now well on his way to raising the £2,000 needed to pay for the defibrillator at The Rainbow pub in Milton Road.
The defibrillator is due to be installed on Thursday at the pub with the help of the charity, The Community Heartbeat Trust. Fundraisers have included non-uniform days at the local schools and there have been pledges of grant funding from some of the local councillors.
‘They are lifesavers,’ said Mr Patis. ‘When you are resuscitating on your own, 99 per cent of the time it will not bring the casualty back.
‘It’s the defibrillator that will bring the casualty back.
‘When I researched it, I saw there was one in Rake and another on the Isle of Wight. We have nothing in our area at all.
‘That is what sparked my interest in trying to get one in our community.’
Since Mr Patis started his fundraising, a publicly-accessible defibrillator has been installed outside Waterlooville Orthodontic Practice, in the town centre
Meanwhile, in Rowlands Castle, villagers are rallying round to get at least two publicly-accessible defibrillators.
Until now, the nearest location for any device has been Havant or Forestside.
The parish council has pledged £1,000 to get the project underway. The village fair committee has also pledged £1,800, the Rowlands Castle Association £350, Rowlands Castle Good Neighbours £200 and donations from members of the public have amassed £100.
Parish clerk Lisa Walker said: ‘The money is going towards not only the purchase of the defibrillators but also the training. There’s no point having the defibrillators if you don’t have a sufficient number of people in the locality trained in CPR.’