We were heartened to hear that when the student school councillors of Pirongia School were told their school had won an AED in the Heart Saver AED monthly draw, they knew exactly what that was. If every school kid in New Zealand is as switched on about AEDs, New Zealand will be a much safer place!
Pirongia School, a large rural school in the North Island, take a proactive approach to safety – all their staff are trained in workplace first aid (well done!) and they had discussed the merits of having an AED at their school for the community. Now they do, thanks to the Heart Saver AED competition!
“I thought we’d be a great recipient because of the number of people that either use the school grounds or are close to the school grounds,” explains Pirongia School executive officer Keren Hale. “As well as the 358 children and around 30 staff on a normal school day, the school is also used by caregivers attending school events, groups that hire the school hall, community members who use the school pool, kids of all ages that use our grounds out of school times, and players and spectators who play sport at the school.”
“I know that every minute counts when someone is having a cardiac event so to have an AED accessible to so many can only be beneficial. We would like the AED to be available 24/7 so are considering mounting it outside, near the hall which is visible to the main road,” Keren says.
It is their hope to make it available to the nearby community, including those at neighbouring sports grounds, residents at the nearby retirement village, local businesses and other community groups that meet nearby in the village.
“The AED means peace of mind to us. We hope it never has to be used but if it does we’re grateful to be able to have it available. When our teacher went on to explain to our school councillors why we had it and that it would be based at our school for all of our community should it be needed, the kids thought we were very, very lucky.”
Does your sports club, school, community group or not for profit have an AED? Is there one nearby, should you need it? If not, please find out more about our Heart Saver AED draw where we give away two AEDs each month here.