4:00pm Thursday 20th December 2012
By David Watkinson
NINE schools across East Lancashire are to be given life-saving equipment thanks to the Lancashire Telegraph and a heart failure charity.
Almost £10,000 was presented yesterday to Hapton-based organisation Pumping Marvellous, on behalf of the Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc, owner of Newsquest Media Group, whose titles include the Lancashire Teleg-raph.
The cash will buy portable automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be sited at schools within each of the six East Lancashire boroughs, in locations identified by the North West Ambulance Service as hot-spots for cardiac arrests.
Receiving a cheque for £9,936 Nick Hartshorne-Evans, founder of Pumping Marvellous, said: “Around 12 young people a week died of a cardiac arrest and quick access to a defibrillator gives a far greater chance of survival.
“This wonderfull donation will enable us to put AEDs into communities where statistics show there is a definite need.
“The machines are straightforward to operate, and maintain, and we will train 20 nominated people to use them.
“A lot of schools are in the middle of housing estates and built-up areas, and we will also leaflet these zones so people know where they are kept.”
Mr Hartshorne-Evans, a self-employed businessman, founded the charity two years ago when he suffered a cardiac arrest at the age of 39.
He has now dedicated himself to raising awareness, and helping heart failure patients, and their carers.
On St Valentine’s Day, Pumping Marvellous is planning to launch a ‘heart failure toolkit’ containing “all the information heart failure patients need, from basic advice on health services and benefits, to first aid needs.”
He added that schools would be selected by mid-February following consultation with the ambulance service, and the AEDs would begin being put in place shortly afterwards.
Lancashire Telegraph assistant editor Nick Nunn said: “Fast response quite literally saves lives after a cardiac arrest, as was vividly shown with the tragic collapse of Bolton footballer Patrice Muamba. We are pleased to be able to help get these machines strategically placed in our communities where they are sorely needed.”
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