Forty-five schools from across Northern Ireland have been selected to receive life-saving defibrillators as part of the 2013 World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) legacy.
The devices, manufactured by HeartSine Technologies, were stationed at each of the venues of this year’s Games and will now be presented to the schools that submitted the best entries explaining why their school should receive an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Representatives from each school will receive their defibrillator at a special ceremony later this month.
The initiative, which was open to all schools in Northern Ireland, was developed to leave an enduring and meaningful legacy of the WPFG within its 2013 host country.
Schools and their pupils were asked to state why they should receive a defibrillator and where it would be located within the school.
The judging panel was made up of representatives from HeartSine, WPFG and the Red Cross, which will provide free AED training in 2014 to all schools selected to receive a defibrillator.
John Tully, Chief Executive of 2013 WPFG Ltd. said:
“By asking the school pupils to apply for these sought after defibrillators, our aim was to improve awareness and understanding of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and the value of defibrillators. It was obvious from all the applications received that the pupils had researched the topic thoroughly, so the exercise was clearly very worthwhile.
“The 2013 WPFG was an incredible event with 7,000 competitors from 67 countries competing in 56 sports, with 3,500 volunteers. Over the course of the Games we welcomed many thousands of spectators to 45 venues, each of which was equipped with a HeartSine defibrillator, should the unthinkable occur to one of our athletes, volunteers or spectators.
“Thankfully it didn’t and these defibrillators will now be distributed to schools across Northern Ireland.
“Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to absolutely anyone at any time. It doesn’t matter if the person is healthy, young or old, or male or female. Quite often there are no warning signs or symptoms so it is important that public places, such as schools with their high volumes of students, teachers, staff and visitors, are protected and prepared.
“This is a fantastic legacy for the Games to leave, not just for the schools but for the local communities who will also benefit from use of the defibrillator should it be required. I am delighted our legacy dream has become a reality thanks to HeartSine and the British Red Cross.
“Many schools already undergo fundraising activity each year and perhaps now the importance of these potentially lifesaving devices has been realized, schools can look towards placing an AED in the school as the end goal of this fundraising activity.”
Joy Taggart, Global Inside Sales Manager at HeartSine, who are the only company to design, develop and manufacture AEDs in the UK or Ireland, said:
“Around 270 people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) every single day in the UK.
“If someone suffers SCA and is treated with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) alone, survival rates are less than 5%.
“If, however, you combine CPR with the use of a defibrillator, then the rate of survival can increase to over 70%, so the immediate presence of an AED to save more lives and fight against SCA is crucial.
“We received a huge number of entries and were thrilled with the knowledge our schools now have about defibrillators and the importance of having access to them.
“We at HeartSine were delighted to provide 45 defibrillators to the Games venues and even more delighted to have been involved with such a fantastic legacy programme which has allowed us to distribute our lifesaving devices to a number of schools within each Northern Ireland Education and Library Board – BELB, NEELB, SEELB, SELB and WELB.
“I would like to thank each and every school who took the time to support this initiative. The entries were all super and the panel had some very difficult decision to make.”
Paula Powell, Community First Aid Manager from the British Red Cross, which will be providing training for up to 15 members of staff from each of the schools receiving a defibrillator, said:
“HeartSine defibrillators provide audio prompts to the user making them very easy to use. However, our training sessions will ensure a number of staff in each school receiving a defibrillator have the opportunity to become familiar and comfortable with the device should it ever have to be used.
“A hands-on training course which gives people the opportunity to try out the equipment and also refreshes their wider understanding of first aid and CPR is the best way to give someone confidence to get involved in an emergency situation.”
HeartSine AEDs, which are manufactured in over 29 languages, are in place in public buildings, schools and sporting arenas across the world including The White House, European Parliament Buildings, Stormont Parliament Buildings and at George Best Belfast City Airport.
HeartSine can be contacted through Facebook and Twitter – @HeartSine
The winning schools are:
Belfast Education and Library Board
- Belfast Royal Academy, North Belfast
- Hazelwood Integrated College, North Belfast
- Mercy College, North Belfast
- Forge Integrated Primary School, South Belfast
- St. Rose’s Dominican College, West Belfast
- St. Joseph’s Primary School, West Belfast
- Holy Family Primary School, West Belfast
South Eastern Education and Library Board
- St. Colman’s Primary School, Lisburn
- Ballymacash Primary School, Lisburn
- Saint Nicholas Primary School, Ardglass
- Lough View Integrated Primary School, Castlereagh
- Loughries Primary School, Newtownards
- Dundonald Primary School, Dundonald
- St. Luke’s Primary School, Dunmurray
- St. Mary’s Primary School, Portaferry
- St. Macartan’s Primary School, Downpatrick
- Blackwater Integrated College, Downpatrick
- St. Patrick’s Primary School Saul, Downpatrick
- Friends’ School, Lisburn
North Eastern Education and Library Board
- Glengormley Integrated Primary School, Newtownabbey
- Larne Grammar School, Larne
- St. Louis Grammar School, Ballymena
- Carrickfergus Grammar School, Carrickfergus
- St. Killian’s College, Carnlough
- Ballyclare High School, Ballyclare
- Mount St. Michael’s Primary School, Randalstown
- Dunluce School, Bushmills
- Glynn Primary School, Larne
Southern Education and Library Board
- Bessbrook Primary School, Newry
- St. Mary’s Primary School, Craigavon
- Banbridge High School, Banbridge
- St. Mary’s High School, Newry
- Grange Primary School, Kilkeel
- St. Joseph’s Convent Primary School, Newry
- Dromore Central Primary School, Dromore
- Aughnacloy College, Aughnacloy
- St. Malachy’s Primary School, Camlough
- Windsor Hill Primary School, Newry
- St. Mary’s Primary School, Dungannon
Western Education and Library Board
- Limavady Grammar School, Limavady
- Greenhaw Primary School, Derry/Londonderry
- St. Mary’s Primary School, Newtownbutler
- St. Patrick’s Primary School, Newtownstewart
- St. Eugene’s College, Roslea
- St. Finloughs Primary School, Limavady