A LIFE-SAVING machine has been attached to the outside wall of a village pub, in what is believed to be a first for Dorset.

The community defibrillator at the St Peter's Finger, Lytchett Minster was launched at a ceremony held by Lytchett Minster and Upton Town Council and can now be used to help save lives.

"I want to thank everybody who has contributed," said the Mayor, Cllr June Richards. "It's literally a life saver. I understand it is the first in Dorset to be attached to the wall of a pub."

The Hall & Woodhouse pub is hosting the locked cabinet and providing the electricity to keep it running. The £2,000 cost of the machine has been covered by the Dorset Partnership for Older People Programme, South Lytchett Manor Caravan Park and donations.

Thirty residents have been trained in its use by Dave Laut of the Community Heart Beat Trust and now it is registered a 999 call in an emergency will reveal the code to open the cabinet. It contains everything required and the "smart" machine guides a life saver through CPR (resuscitation) and will not administer a shock if it is not needed.

"You have a 50 per cent better chance of of surviving an attack as opposed to just CPR," said Kate Fisher, assistant community responder officer for Dorset for South West Ambulance Service. "That's a vast difference."

She said Hall & Wodehouse were big supporters of defibrillators, there were 25 on the outside of buildings in Dorset and every masonic lodge had one. "I would like to see them as often as you see a fire extinguisher," she said.

The town council, which managed the project, now intends to start fund raising for a similar machine in the centre of Upton.

Kate is seeking out machines which have not been registered with 999 and is urging anyone who knows of one to contact her on kate.fisher@swast.nhs.uk or 07973 963530.

"The more the merrier. They are life savers and that's what we do. We get to save one life and they are worth their weight in gold," she added.