Alvor bar-owner rallies to raise funds for defibrillator

By Carrie-Marie Bratley, in Algarve · 13-09-2018 10:19:00 · 0 Comments
Alvor bar-owner rallies to raise funds for defibrillator

A businessman from the Algarve village of Alvor has launched a fundraising drive to buy defibrillators for the popular tourist destination following a medical emergency when a patron recently suffered a suspected heart attack in his bar.

The incident happened last week when a customer became unwell at The Parlour Irish bar in Alvor, Portimão.
According to bystanders, the owner, Irishman and musician Keith Wilson, who was performing at the time, and his staff “immediately sprung into action and identified a nurse in the audience who co-ordinated immediate care steps whilst other staff called for an ambulance”.
Following the incident, Mr. Wilson organised a fundraising collection via collection buckets in bars as well as creating a Just Giving platform and, at the time of going to press, close to €1,500 of the €2,000 needed to fund two defibrillators had been raised. Contributors to the cause include customers, staff, locals and regular visitors, while surrounding businesses have initiated their own collections to add to Mr. Wilson’s by placing donation buckets on their counters.
Initially a €1,000 target was set to buy one defibrillator for the main village centre, but when that was almost reached within days, Mr. Wilson upped the target to purchase two of the life-saving devices, the second of which would be located at the riverside harbour area, to spread the coverage for both locals and visitors to Alvor.
Writing on the page Mr. Wilson explains: “We were lucky to have two nurses in the bar at the time. The 112 emergency services were called and staff ran to the ambulance stationed in the marketplace to notify them and get the defibrillator down to the bar with the paramedics.

“For one reason and another, it wasn’t that simple. The medics had to wait for the call before they could be deployed and couldn’t leave the station”.
Due to protocol, it was, according to Mr. Wilson, 17 minutes before the paramedics arrived in the bar, from their station at the municipal marketplace, which is a distance of just over 200 metres on foot, or a three-minute walk.
“This could have resulted in the man’s death”, the bar owner reflects, before adding “thankfully it didn’t. So, we can’t change the ambulance system, but we can improve on it”.
The customer involved in the incident is reportedly expected to make a full recovery.
It is the Irishman’s objective to “get at least one other defibrillator placed in the centre of the village, around the main bars and restaurants”, and, if funds suffice, a second defibrillator located by the harbour.
Mr. Wilson has since met with the Mayor of Alvor, who is said to be “behind this 100 percent”. He says the Alvor Mayor is also due to talk to the head of the local fire service, who will organise training for all volunteers who wish to be trained in the use of the defibrillator. A meeting is being held next Wednesday, 19 September, at the Alvor Parish Hall, at 3.30pm, for all those interested in being trained.
“The defibrillator is only as useful as the person using it”, the businessman stresses, and says, “I think it would be great if every business had at least one person trained”.
“We want to get the defibrillator on the street ASAP”, he continues, urging: “If you see the collection buckets, please give generously. That could have been you on Monday night”.
Anyone interested in the initiative can contact Keith Wilson at The Parlour Irish Bar (+351 282 035 311). To make a donation online, the Just Giving link is available through The Parlour Irish Bar’s Facebook page.


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