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Monday, 02 July 2012 10:41
Queen's School, near Watford, and Childwall Sports College near Liverpool have both recently had defibrillators installed to help protect the lives of pupils and staff. 270 children die at school each year after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest making Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) absolutely essential pieces of safety equipment. Although AED / CPR training is highly recommended for staff to increase response times, many AEDs are designed to be used by people with no training at all.
Last year it was estimated that only 80 schools in the whole of the UK had an AED on site, but thankfully more and more are becoming properly equipped thanks to the generosity of the public.
Queen's School in Bushey received two defibrillators from a charity called Wayne's Fund. Wayne's fund was set up in memory of Wayne Pope, 30, who passed away in 2005 after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. Since then, his family have dedicated themselves to fundraising for local schools and it was his father John who presented the defibrillators to the school.
"Anyone could have an undiagnosed heart condition or could go into cardiac arrest," says John, "but a defibrillator could help save their life. It could’ve been something that would’ve helped Wayne, but we’ll never know. When Wayne passed away no-one had really heard about defibrillators, but recent events such as what happened to footballer Patrice Muamba has thrust the need for these machines into the limelight."
Childwall Sports College in Wavetree were persuaded to purchase their own defibrillator after reading the petition from the Oliver King Foundation to put defibrillators into all UK schools. Cllr Jake Morrison, a patron of the Foundation, supported the decision saying, "“This is really positive news that a School has heard of our petition and decided they would take action straight away. Childwall Sports College should be congratulated for taking this step, and I would encourage other schools to do the same."
In the West Midlands, Westgate Primary School in Warwick is set to become one of the first primary schools in the country to be equipped with an AED as a number of fundraising events have been organised over the next month. We have also provided a primary school with a defibrillator after local businesses Imperative Training and defibshop.co.uk donated a defibrillator to St. Teresa's RC Primary, Irlam through the Hand on Heart.
Hand on Heart funds defibrillators and AED / CPR training to schools across the country: support our work by visiting our Just Giving Page!