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Cumbernauld secondary schools to have life-saving equipment installed

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 09:50 GMT on Saturday, May 25th, 2013.

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SECONDARY schools in Cumbernauld – and throughout North Lanarkshire will be amongst the first in Scotland to be fitted with specialist life-saving equipment.

All 24 North Lanarkshire Council operated secondary schools across the authority’s area are set to have Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) units installed before the end of March2014 – a move which makes North Lanarkshire Council the first Scottish local authority to install this type of heart resuscitation equipment installed in all its high schools.

The AED installations will cost £70,000 and are being part-funded by NHS Scotland together with Amey, which delivers local road maintenance, street lighting and winter services in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council.  

Jim Logue, Convener of Learning and Leisure Services, said the council’s decision is about being pre-emptive and will save lives.

Cllr Logue 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."

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The council has been implementing a Heartstart Schools program since 2008, in partnership with The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and NHS Lanarkshire which teaches young people basic life- saving skills, with over 100 schools now affiliated to the scheme, and organisations on track to meet a target of all local schools by March 2015.  

The Heartstart program has been evaluated by Glasgow University and highlighted as a model of good practice by the Scottish Parliament, with the project supported by NHS Lanarkshire, The British Heart Foundation, Scottish Ambulance Service, St. Andrew's First Aid and Amey.

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."

Amy Gibson, Community Engagement Officer with the Scottish Ambulance Service added: "We are extremely pleased to help support the council in providing defibrillators in secondary schools.

"Emergency situations are time critical and this equipment will help save lives."

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