Goodard Park Community Primary School staff train on life-saving machine

This Is Wiltshire: Natalia Haigh, the sports manager of Goddard Park School, learning how to use a defibrillator Natalia Haigh, the sports manager of Goddard Park School, learning how to use a defibrillator

NEW training and equipment has been rolled out at Goodard Park Community Primary School which will reduce the chance of fatalities resulting from cardiac arrests.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) has been bought by the school, with a select group of staff trained to respond when somebody collapses and to operate the machine.

South West Ambulance Service was at the Welcombe Avenue school yesterday morning, with a mannequin, dummy machine and slideshow to guide staff through using the AED.

The school’s increasing presence in the community was seen as a good reason to make staff more aware of their medical responsibility to visitors.

Mike Welsh, headteacher at Goddard Park, said: “This is a community school with 130 employees and we have hundreds of parents and members of the community coming in on to the site each week.

“They come on to the site for school, day care, children’s centre and community events, and it seems highly appropriate that we want to keep our community as safe as possible.

“That includes issues such as dealing with medical emergencies and staff are only too willing to be trained to support this.”

The cardiac charity SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome) UK has helped the school to place an AED on its premises.

Supporting the charity’s Big Shock campaign, the school was keen to place a defibrillator on their premises as they understand how important it is to provide early defibrillation when a person suffers a cardiac arrest.

The defibrillator is lifesaving equipment that works to restore the heart rhythm if a person goes into cardiac arrest and the earlier it is used the better the chance is of survival.

The defibrillator placed at the school is easy to use by the layperson, providing voice prompts to the rescuer.

“These devices are now increasingly portable and available at a reasonable cost. We decided to purchase one with the cost coming down, which includes this training the staff are currently going through,” said Mike.

“We work on the basis that we wanted to consider what possible medical emergencies might occur on the school site, and this is a significant one.

“We haven’t experienced a child collapsing with anything like this before, but obviously we have got to be prepared. It could save a life.”

Julie Cann, a teaching assistant at the school, said: “Without a doubt I’ve gained more confidence to do this. Before this I was too terrified of the machine to do anything like this.

“I have worked with children my whole adult life and this is the first time I have done something like this. It is a vital skill for all those in the teaching profession.”

Anne Jolly, founder of SADS UK, said: “SADS UK is pleased that Goddard Park Community Primary School will benefit from having a defibrillator on the premises to restart the heart if there is a cardiac arrest on the premises.”

For more information call Anne Jolly on 01277 811215, email or visit

Comments (1)

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8:23pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Robh says...

Forget 'Staying Alive' I do it to 'Another One Bites the Dust'.
Forget 'Staying Alive' I do it to 'Another One Bites the Dust'. Robh

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