A COMMITTED first aider is urging punters to learn lifesaving skills from the comfort of the pub.

Christopher Tancock, from Ducklington, near Witney, this month launched a new initiative where he teaches first aid inside local boozers.

The scheme, called Pint of Life, enjoyed a successful start, with more than 30 people attending the first event at The Bell Inn, Ducklington.

But Mr Tancock had to perform an unexpected demonstration when one person collapsed during the session, although they thankfully recovered.

Mr Tancock, who is a longstanding volunteer for St John Ambulance and the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), hopes the project can branch out across the area.

He said: “Having volunteered in the Oxfordshire community for many years, I have seen the difference that an awareness of basic first aid can make.

“It’s clear that there are still many gaps and many people who lack the confidence to approach a first aid situation. Pint of Life aims to change this.”

The 37-year-old, who lives in the village with his wife and two children, completed a first aid course at work more than a decade ago and has always wanted to take it further.

He took a back seat due to health issues of his own, but can now boast eight years of volunteering experience.

Mr Tancock has also coached colleagues in his office who operate as first aiders and has taught basic skills in schools.

He was previously involved with Pint of Science, a festival that aimed to bring scientific developments to the public in an interesting, engaging and approachable way.

This spawned Pint of Life earlier this year, which Mr Tancock – who works for an IT company in Kidlington – hopes is beneficial on two fronts.

Not only does Mr Tancock want to encourage greater awareness of essential first aid in the community, but the choice of venue is aimed to boost interest in local pubs.

The sessions cover how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator correctly, while also teaching the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Luckily, none of these applied to the individual who collapsed, and Mr Tancock admitted the sudden development highlighted the importance of basic first aid.

He said: “I had to go into first aid mode and was able to look after this person.

“Not that I wanted it to happen to anyone, but it showed why it’s useful to have those skills.

“Events like this make a scary story accessible and demonstrates how to save a life.”

Mr Tancock said The Bell was keen to do another event in the future, while its sister pub in Charlbury has also expressed an interest.

He is looking for more trainers to get involved. For details visit pintoflife.org