Drinkers at Pirie's Federal Hotel given a 'heart-starter'

CHEERS: Drinker Stuart McKenzie 'toasts' the heart-starter on the wall of the Federal Hotel with publican Mark Phillips.
CHEERS: Drinker Stuart McKenzie 'toasts' the heart-starter on the wall of the Federal Hotel with publican Mark Phillips.

Are you ready for a “heart-starter” at the Federal Hotel? Drinkers who have heart attacks in the popular retro-fitted front bar will come back to life with a jolt.

This will be thanks to a new defibrillator installed on the wall after a fundraising campaign by patrons and management.

The defibrillator or heart-starter can be taken from its cabinet and applied to victims of heart attack, providing life-saving treatment in the vital minutes after the patient is struck down.

“It is a ‘heart-starter’ at the ‘heart-starter’,” said publican Mark Phillips. “It suits our middle-aged demographic.”

Drinker Stuart McKenzie, 59, a retired farmhand, helped with the fundraising by buying raffle tickets.

“You never know when you actually need it,” he said, echoing a theme promoted by patrons on a Facebook post. “I might need it.”

Joint publican Kylie Phillips summed it up by saying: “Our patrons have kept us going and hopefully we can keep them going.”

Our patrons have kept us going and hopefully we can keep them going.

Kylie Phillips

Mark and Kylie said the Facebook post featuring the patrons talking about the device had attracted 7000 hits.

“We thought it would be a good way to raise interest in the community,” Mark said.

“We had businessmen donate money and random people put money in the jar.”

He said many people owed their lives to a defibrillator being applied to them after a heart attack.

“If you have a person collapse, you have three minutes before death occurs,” he said.

He said the Australian Hotels Association had campaigned for introduction of defibrillators in pubs.

“There is a chance we will get one on an outside wall of the hotel,” he said.

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