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AEDs to be placed outside schools

Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) will soon be available outside all Government schools in Gibraltar, the Gibraltar Government has announced.

The Cardiac Association has agreed to fund the initiative with essential train-the-trainer sessions provided by St John Ambulance.

The Government added the Department of Education is in close liaison with St John Ambulance and the Cardiac Association will be collaborating to make AEDs available to staff, pupils, visitors and the community more widely.

As Schools are considered areas of high population density, the Government said, positioning of AEDs in this area will aid the current distribution plan and limit time between incident and access to potentially life-saving equipment.

Research demonstrates that accessing AEDs within three to five minutes of a cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival by over 40%.

School staff will also receive bespoke training which will in turn be cascaded to pupils.

“This will ensure children and young adults are familiar with AED location and use, together with early recognition of symptoms and procedures to be followed to call for help,” the spokesperson added,

“Familiarisation with the units will help reduce anxieties related to their use in a medical emergency.”

“All parties are keen that a messaging strategy is developed that does not cease at schools but is expanded to the local community more generally in a concise and sustained manner.”

“The Department of Education, St John Ambulance and the Cardiac Association are looking forward to jointly rolling out this initiative and supporting pupils and staff in the process.”

The Minister for Education and Public Health Dr, John Cortes, said he was grateful to the Cardiac Association and St John Ambulance for working with the Department of Education to achieve this.

“Awareness of the problems associated with heart health, together with the availability of these devices can make a real difference and save lives,” he said.

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