Albourne school unveils life-saving defibrillator

Back row from left to right: Teaching assistant Felicity Tagarsi, head teacher Alison Sturgeon, St John Ambulance trainer Joanne Slater and school secretary Sarah Foxton. Front row from left to right: Pupils and school councillors Jessica and Thomas
Back row from left to right: Teaching assistant Felicity Tagarsi, head teacher Alison Sturgeon, St John Ambulance trainer Joanne Slater and school secretary Sarah Foxton. Front row from left to right: Pupils and school councillors Jessica and Thomas
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An Albourne school unveiled a life-saving defibrillator on Tuesday May 3 – equipment which could give their pupils and staff the best chance of survival should they suffer a cardiac arrest.

Albourne C of E Primary School, which has 200 pupils aged between four to 11 years old, has installed the automated external defibrillator (AED) in the school office, so it’s easily accessible in an emergency.

The decision to buy an AED was made after Ms Sturgeon, the head teacher, recently completed a refresher ‘first aid at work’ course with St John Ambulance.

Ms Sturgeon commented: “Whilst completing the workplace training course we had a discussion about defibrillators and how they can give you the best chance of survival if you’re in cardiac arrest. Being in a rural area I felt buying a defibrillator was a responsible thing to do for our children and staff. Hopefully we will never have to use it, but now we have peace of mind that we’re fully trained and the equipment is there should we ever need it.”

The defibrillator was bought from St John Ambulance and ten members of staff were recently taught how to use the equipment by workplace first aid trainer Joanne Slater.

Joanne added: “We’re delighted the school has taken such a positive approach to first aid. This equipment really could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved - when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival falls by 10 per cent every minute without first aid. But, with CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and the use of a defibrillator within three minutes, their chance of survival could be as high as 70 per cent.”

St John Ambulance provides workplace first aid, plus health and safety courses for more than 55,000 people every year across the South East.

For more information on St John Ambulance, including how to make a donation, volunteering opportunities, and details of training for the public, schools and businesses, visit www.sja.org.uk or call 0303 003 0101.