By Dave Hunter
Don Lawson, owner of nightclub, bar and restaurant The Den & Johnny Foxes, bought a defibrillator unit for his own venue late last year, at a cost of around £1200. Eight members of staff, including Lawson, have been trained in the use of the machine.
A keen sports fan, Lawson said he was inspired to purchase the equipment after the heart attacks suffered by footballer Fabrice Muamba and, more recently, golfer Bernard Gallagher.
“I was watching Bernard Gallagher saying on the news the other night that every golf club should have one [a defibrillator],” said Lawson.
“Well I think that every pub should have one.”
And he encouraged the trade to get behind the idea of introducing defibrillators as standard practice.
“I think with some kind of licensed trade charity and some sponsorship, I would love to get involved in a campaign to ensure every pub had one of these,” he said.
“I’m not saying to make it law, but it’s the difference between life and death.”
Sergeant David Duthie of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, organiser of accreditation scheme Best Bar None in Scotland, also encouraged publicans to consider the investment.
“To be accredited as a Best Bar None venue, a number of factors are taken into consideration to help customers and staff have a safe and enjoyable night,” said Duthie.
“One of the essential requirements of a Best Bar None venue is to have first aid facilities and, whilst it is not a requirement for all venues to have a defibrillator, we would welcome any venue to have possession of a lifesaving piece of equipment such as this and to further train and develop their staff to assist in keeping people safe.”