An AED is a machine used to give an electric shock when a person is in cardiac arrest, i.e. when the heart stops beating normally. Cardiac arrest can affect people of any age and without warning. If this happens, swift action in the form of early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and prompt defibrillation can help save a person’s life.

In view of the vital role that AEDs can play in saving the lives of pupils, staff and other users of school premises, the Department for Education is encouraging all schools to consider purchasing these devices as part of their first-aid equipment. The Department for Education, working with the Department of Health, has negotiated an arrangement with NHS Supply Chain for schools to purchase AEDs from them at reduced cost of £500.

To our knowledge, there are four other AEDs in Crewkerne however none of them are within easy reaching distance for us and the Mediana unit is fitted with paediatric as well as adult paddles. Since our school is in the heart of the community we wanted to purchase an AED which could be accessed quickly in an emergency during school hours by everyone. The main entrance of our school is easily accessible from the road and can be reached within approximately one minute from the furthest part of our school grounds so we believe this to be an ideal location.

The Ashlands School community is extremely grateful for their defibrillator which has been fully sponsored by A J Wakely & Sons of Crewkerne. The reason for publicising this is to raise awareness of its importance and its availability to the community during school hours. The AED is designed to be used by anyone without specific training but by following built in instructions. All staff at Ashlands Church of England First School have been briefed in its availability and use.

We are currently seeking sponsorship to install an identical device at Misterton Church of England First School and are pleased to acknowledge that Pattemores Transport have kindly offered to meet half of it’s cost. If you are interested in supporting us with this please contact Mrs Carter, School Business Manager.