Pitmaston Defibrillator

Friday 20th June 2014 – 8.35am – Chris Kowalik.

There are calls for all schools in Worcestershire to be equipped with a potential lifesaving machine.

A defibrillator could restart the heart of someone who suffers a cardiac arrest. On Wednesday 18th June, Pitmaston Primary School in Worcester took delivery of its defibrillator and twelve staff are to be trained in its use.

The school agreed to get a defibrillator when it was revealed one its pupils, 9 year old James Vinson, has a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. The cost of the machine was covered through fundraising by the school and by James’ mother Alison Vinson, who is also a paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service, and with help from ‘Redditch Heart Safe’, a charity founded by a couple following the deaths of two of their children who had suffered cardiac arrests. The charity campaigns for defibrillators to be placed in schools and public places.

All three would like to see other schools in the county follow Pitmaston Primary School’s example. Alison is also offering to help train the staff of any school that does.

Alison said: “I know how important it is. My elder brother who (also) suffered with the condition collapsed and died at the age of 14. There was no quick access to CPR or a defibrillator. So, knowing James will have that gives me great peace of mind because I know that he stands a much better chance of surviving if it were to happen.”

Listen to Alison here:

Kate Wilcock, Deputy Headteacher of Pitmaston Primary School, said: “For us, it’s hugely important that we’re not only supporting James’ needs, but we are supporting the needs of all pupils in our school and parents and the community.”

Listen to Kate here:

Rob Underwood, founder of Redditch Heart Safe gave this message to other schools: “Get a defibrillator. It’s not necessarily for the children, it’s there for the teaching staff, members of the public walking past the school, workers and families who are on school premises at any one time. It’s going to help hundreds and hundreds of people every day when the school is open.”

Listen to Rob here:

Pitmaston Defibrillator 1

(pictured back row left to right: Rob Underwood, Alison Vinson, Kate Wilcock, Dave Harford (Community First Responder). Front: James Vinson.

Pitmaston Defibrillator 2 Pitmaston Defibrillator3

Picture credits: “West Midlands Ambulance Service”

For more information about Redditch Heart Safe visit www.redditchheartsafe.com

To arrange training, email Alison Vinson via alison.vinson@wmas.nhs.uk


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