Renfrewshire Council

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Park Mains gets life saving defibrillator

Park Mains High School has become the latest Renfrewshire Council facility to have an Automated External Defibrillators (AED) installed.

An AED makes the most of the 'magic' four minute window minute that can mean the difference between life and death for heart attack patients.

The AEDs automatically diagnose a patient's needs, issue verbal instructions to the user and independently deliver any shock required to restart the heart. The machines will not deliver a shock if the patient does not need it

Much of the funding for the defibrillator came from the British Heart Foundation but pupils, who are part of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, raised additional cash to upgrade it to a higher specification which is easier to use.  

Valerie McKay, Acting Head Tecaher, said, "I am really pleased to have the defibrillator housed here in Park Mains High School.  While we hope never to have to use it, it is reassuring to know that should someone have a heart attack while in the building, we can provide instant and effective help.

"If someone has a heart attack, there is a critical four minute window when medical assistance can mean the difference between that person living or dying. Intervening within those four minutes also gives the patient the best possible chance of making a full recovery.

"Eight of our Duke of Edinburgh Young Leaders have now been trained to Heartstart Instructor Level by the Trossachs Search and Rescue Team. These pupils will now assist with Heartstart training for all of the Duke of Edinburgh participants in the school."

Stuart Ballantyne Chairman of the Trossachs Search & Rescue Team and Jamie Mitchell, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme Communication Officer visited Park Mains High School to meet some of the young people involved in the initiative. 

Stuart Ballantyne said, "For the past 17 years, we have enjoyed an excellent partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards at Park Mains whereby pupils have learned outdoor first-aid skills and have had the opportunity to work with us in the training of our specialised urban search and rescue dogs.

"We were delighted to be involved last year in the training of their Young Leaders to equip them with the skills necessary to instruct other pupils in how to perform CPR and other lifesaving techniques as part of the Heartstart programme, which is a British Heart Foundation initiative."

Jamie Mitchell commented, "The Duke of Edinburgh participants at Park Mains High School are a real inspiration. The programme was designed to get young people involved in their communities and this group is an excellent example of just that. 

"They saw the opportunity to provide a potentially life-saving defibrillator to their school and they committed to fundraising and training to make it happen. Their initiative and perseverance are exactly the kind of skills we hope everyone develops by doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

"It is heartening as well to see the school working in partnership with British Heart Foundation and the Trossachs Search & Rescue team to help the young people achieve their goal. This co-operation goes to show what can be achieved when young people, charities and community groups work together."

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council's Education and Children Policy Board said, "These Automated External Defibrillators provide effective, on-the-spot help.

"The council is committed to improving the health of local people. Paisley is a Heart Town and we are working with the British Heart Foundation to educate and inform people about the benefits of improving their diet and getting more exercise.

"These defibrillators are the first line of defence if a person has a heart attack and we have made sure that they are easily accessible in public buildings."

Automated External Defibrillators (AED) have been installed in Renfrewshire House, Johnstone Town Hall, Paisley Town Hall, Renfrew Town Hall and all of the area's five sports centres. All of the council's First Aiders have also been trained on how to use the high-tech machines.

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