Schools at heart of life saving service

All 24 secondary schools in North Lanarkshire are set to have specialist life saving Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) units installed before the end of March, 2014. The project is supported by St Andrew’s First Aid, NHS Lanarkshire, The British Heart Foundation, Scottish Ambulance Service and Amey.

North Lanarkshire Council is the first Scottish local authority to have this type of heart resuscitation equipment installed in all its high schools. Jim Logue, Convener of Learning and Leisure Services, said: “After someone has a cardiac arrest, every minute that passes without defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10 per cent. With many of our secondary schools open in the evening and at weekends for community and sports activities, having a readily accessible AED unit nearby could play a crucial role in helping to save lives at these locations.”

The council has been implementing a Heartstart Schools program since 2008, in partnership with The British Heart Foundation (BHF), St Andrew’s First Aid and NHS Lanarkshire which teaches young people basic life saving skills. Over 100 schools are now affiliated to the scheme with a target of all local schools by March 2015. The program has been evaluated by Glasgow University and highlighted as a model of good practice by the Scottish Parliament.

Amey business director Stephen Munro said: “With more than 300,000 sudden cardiac arrests happening in UK community settings each year, we are very pleased to support the council with this initiative which will help equip communities to save lives.”

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