Jan 31 2013 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
PUPILS at every West Lancs primary school are set to receive life-saving defibrillator training as part of a borough-wide scheme.
Former mayoress Sue Murrin-Bailey, who set up the Lancashire Defibrillator campaign last year, revealed the plans as she set out the group’s aims for the next 12 months.
Sue, who lives in Parbold, originally began fundraising for the cause with her husband Rob when they became Mayor and Mayoress and they chose the First Responders as one of their charities for the Mayoral year.
She was then taken on by the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) as an advisory First Responder, and was trained in conducting heart-start courses.
Speaking to the Advertiser about how the campaign has developed, she said: “It’s been snowballing ever since we started. It’s amazing how it’s come on. When I became involved with the First Responders I began to realise how desperately the devices were needed.
“Now we’ve reached the point where we really want to be leading the way in Lancashire.”
So far Sue has helped raise more than £35,000, funding 21 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) which will be installed around the borough.
The life-saving devices, which treat people suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest, talk users through how to treat a victim.
The first three AEDs were installed on fire station walls in Skelmersdale and Ormskirk, and in a pharmacy on the A59 in Rufford.
Since then, further devices have been installed at the Stanley Club in Burscough, Haskayne Village Hall and at Hotter Shoes site in Pimbo. Sites have also been earmarked in the centre of Ormskirk, Up Holland, Edge Hill University, the council offices on Derby Street, Aughton, Halsall, Scarisbrick, Lathom and two sites in Skelmersdale.
The group’s latest project, alongside West Lancs CVS, will see all Year 5 pupils in the borough receive defibrillator awareness and training between half term and the Easter break. Schools will also be encouraged to enter a competition to win one of three of the life-saving devices with funds raised by the group.
Sue, who was this week voted onto the board of governors at NWAS – through which she hopes to continue to drive the campaign’s message – also spoke of her support for the Oliver King Foundation. The group was set up after the death of Liverpool 12-year-old Oliver King from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.
This week they secured the 100,000 signatures on an e-petition needed for the Government to consider a debate on whether to make it mandatory for all public buildings to be equipped with life-saving defibrillators.
But Sue said: “I totally back what they are doing but there’s no point us doing the same thing.
“What we want is for all schools and sports teams to realise they need these devices and that is what the schools competition is about. Around 270 children a year die in English schools from cardiac arrest, and the cost of £600 for a unit that can go in a school isn’t a huge amount of money. “In conjunction with NWAS chain of survival we have the capacity to support and work alongside schools and sports clubs to help facilitate defibrillators and training. We are launching our website soon and will carry on fundraising through the year.
“The long term plan is to have one of these devices in every school in West Lancs within the next five years and I think that’s achievable.”
For more information email Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org