A village primary school has received a life-saving piece of kit thanks to a Hartlepool campaign group.
Blackhall Colliery Primary School has received a new defibrillator to be used in cardiac arrest emergencies after the voluntary group Defibs 4 Hartlepool raised £1,100.
Mark Rycraft, of Defibs 4 Hartlepool, said: “Cardiac arrest can happen to anybody at any time. Ofsted now recommend that defibrillators are placed into schools.
“Putting them into schools can serve a number of aspects. There are lots of statistics that demonstrate that children can have a cardiac arrest at school.
“There are also adults who work there and parents visiting on mornings and afternoons to drop off and collect their children as well as attending other events. I always say it is better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
Defibs 4 Hartlepool held a raffle and other fundraising in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre to raise the money for the piece of kit.
It has also paid for school staff to be trained how to use it in an emergency.
Defibrillators have been shown to potentially save lives while waiting for the emergency services to attend. For every minute someone is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival reduces by 10%.
Headteacher Joanna Clark said: “When we started doing first aid training we were shocked at the statistics of how low survival rates are if someone has a heart attack and you don’t have a defibrillator.
“We were conscious that we have a lot of grandparents as well as parents within our community. We also have a child with a heart condition. All staff have been trained to use it effectively so if there is a time, and we pray the situation never arises, but if it does then there is someone on hand straight away.”
Teachers have also been raising awareness among the children of what they can do to protect their heart health.
For more information or to go onto the Defibs 4 Hartlepool waiting list, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.defibs4hartlepool.co.uk.