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Defibrillator installed at Five Bells at Ringwould in memory of publican Tony Merrett

By Eleanor Perkins

Lives could now be saved in memory of a village pub manager who died suddenly.

A new defibrillator has been installed outside the Five Bells in Ringwould for use of residents, motorists on the busy A258 Dover to Deal road, or pub guests in need.

It is in memory of Tony Merrett, who died at the premises in February 2015, aged 41.

 First aid trainer David Pinkney, pub owner John Walsh and first responder Zella Nerssessian with the new defibrillator outside The Five Bells in Ringwould

First aid trainer David Pinkney, pub owner John Walsh and first responder Zella Nerssessian with the new defibrillator outside The Five Bells in Ringwould

The equipment was made available thanks to the work of David Pinkney who saw the need for it.

The defib is stored in a secure cabinet and is easily accessible in the event of an emergency.

Mr Pinkney said: “As a first-aid trainer I know the importance of getting a defibrillator to a casualty who is in cardiac arrest as early as possible to increase their chance of survival, and so I was determined that we should have a public access defibrillator in the village of Ringwould.”

Mr Pinkney approached Ringwould and Kingsdown Parish Council who agreed to a grant of up to £1,000 towards the cost of the cabinet and defibrillator.

He also sourced the equipment from Zella Nerssessian, team leader of the Deal First Responders, after reading an article in this newspaper which was offering a defibrillator to a rural village which required one.

Tony Merrett died suddenly

Tony Merrett died suddenly

He said: “One of the other reasons behind my idea was to install one in memory of Tony Merrett, who was a past manager of the Five Bells.”

Before taking on the management of the pub in 2012, Mr Merrettt worked as a healthcare assistant in Eastbourne as well as an air steward for airlines including British Airways and easyJet.

Mr Pinkney said: “He had become a good friend to all of us who used the pub.

“A plaque will be placed above the defibrillator in due course in his memory.”

A training and awareness session led by Ms Nerssessian was held at Ringwould Village Hall on Saturday, for villagers who wanted to learn CPR and how to use the device.

Ringwould resident Vivian Joslin shows first responder Zella Nerssessian what she's learnt

Ringwould resident Vivian Joslin shows first responder Zella Nerssessian what she's learnt

It was described as both beneficial and enjoyable, prompting a second awareness training day in future.

Thanks has been given to the joint owners of the Five Bells, John Walsh and Tony Hills, who agreed to the installation and all those involved.

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