‘Resort pubs should have lifesaving kit’

The life of Derek Smith (below) was saved by the use of a defibrillator and skipper Tony Cowell with the equipment now fitted in the Fleetwood to Knott End ferry.

The life of Derek Smith (below) was saved by the use of a defibrillator and skipper Tony Cowell with the equipment now fitted in the Fleetwood to Knott End ferry.

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A man whose heart stopped three times during a heart attack is leading a campaign to have defibrillators in all pubs and clubs in Blackpool.

Derek Smith, 79, from Bispham, collapsed in the car park at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium after Blackpool drew 2-2 with The Trotters in May.

Derek Smith

Derek Smith

Three people, including an off-duty nurse and police officer, rushed to his aid.

They gave him CPR and used the stadium’s defibrillator to keep him alive until paramedics arrived.

Derek, who is still recovering at his home on Oakmoor Avenue, said: “Without that kit, another 10 minutes and I’d have been dead.

“Even the surgeon said to me not to back the lottery any more as I’d had all my luck.”

Mr Smith is chairman of Cleveleys Royal British Legion, which hosted a charity night alongside the British Heart Foundation on Friday to fund-raising for a defibrillator.

He said: “I think every pub and club should have them; they’re essential.

“A defibrillator saved me and it saves a lot of people.

“I was very lucky because they had one in Bolton which got me going again.

“They cost a few quid, but what’s a few quid when it comes to saving lives?”

Mr Smith’s campaign comes as staff on the Fleetwood to Knott End ferry took delivery of their new piece of life-saving kit.

Knott End ferry skipper Tony Cowell says his experience of trying to revive an elderly passenger prompted his decision to buy a defibrillator.

Around three years ago, he was on hand when a 96-year-old man collapsed while waiting to board the ferry.

Mr Cowell said: “It was a sad day really. He used to come round every week to watch the ferry come out.”

Thanks to quick thinking from Mr Cowell and his staff, the man came round and recovered in hospital but died a month later.

Incidents like that, he said, made him realise how the defibrillator could potentially be the difference between someone living and dying.

“If it saves a life then it will be worth it,” he added.

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