GOVERNMENT chiefs have provided a major boost to school-based fitness centres in Burton and South Derbyshire by announcing it had struck a deal for sites to buy reduce priced defibrillators.
The Department for Education (DfE) announced it hopes to have measures in place by the start of the autumn term to allow school chiefs to buy competitively priced lifesaving devices.
This comes as the Mail’s Stay Fit, Stay Alive campaign is widening its efforts to get devices installed in all gyms and fitness to now include schools after teachers from across the area got in touch and asked for our help.
Schools Minister John Nash said: “There is nothing more important than keeping children safe at school.
“That is why this Government is today publishing updated guidance to schools on managing children with medical conditions.
“By securing defibrillators at a reduced price, schools will find it much easier to install these potentially life-saving devices.
“We hope schools right across the country will take advantage of this.”
The government is working to identify a supplier who will offer defibrillators - which cost around £1,000 - to all schools at a competitive price.
The Pingle School, based in Coronation Street, Swadlincote, was the first in the area to back the Mail’s campaign, revealing it has two machines on site.
Meanwhile Sue Killen, chief executive of St John Ambulance, which runs defibrillator training classes, urged schools to go further and teach skills like CPR.
She said: “While this is a welcome step in the right direction, installing the machine is only part of the solution. The best schools make sure that lifesaving skills are known by pupils, teachers and other staff alike.”
The Mail launched its campaign after a 64-year-old man was left brain damaged after suffering a cardiac arrest while working out at a local gym.