THEY say some of the best ideas are devised while enjoying a drink at a pub.
Steve Walker, landlord of the Richard Cobden, and his patrons were chatting around the bar when the idea of raising money for a community defibrillator came to them.
In little more than two weeks, Steve, who has a long association with St John Ambulance, and his staff at the Cobden Road pub have raised about £700 for the piece of life-saving equipment.
Steve said: “We were just sitting talking, and we stumbled on this idea of having a defibrillator in-situ at the pub in case of emergencies here or elsewhere in the town.
“I’m well aware of the statistics which show you need to give the first shock within eight minutes of a cardiac arrest, so this piece of kit could make all the difference.”
Since conceiving the idea, generous donations from patrons meant more than half the cost of a £1,100 defibrillator was raised.
The pub is hosting a charity gig from 4pm on Sunday, August 21, to raise the rest of the money.
Steve added: “Our customers have been extremely generous, and so have my staff, who are really keen on the idea. I’m hoping we’ll all be trained to use the defibrillator, but obviously the best scenario is it doesn’t actually have to be used at all.”
South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) said it actively seeks to increase the number of Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) across its region with clinicians working closely with community first responders to identify areas which would be suitable locations for defibrillators.
A spokesman said: “Evidence clearly points to early defibrillation alongside effective CPR significantly increasing the survival rates of patients suffering a cardiac arrest in the community.
“The importance of members of the public learning life-saving skills and the role PADs can play in the vital minutes before the arrival of ambulance clinicians in saving people’s lives cannot be overestimated.”