Grammar school gets life-saving equipment

Alison Reed, of Ripon Grammar School parents' association, hands over the defibrillator to student Lory Wong. (S)
Alison Reed, of Ripon Grammar School parents' association, hands over the defibrillator to student Lory Wong. (S)

Emergency life-saving equipment has been installed at Ripon Grammar School after the fund raising efforts of a parents’ association.

A defibrillator has been mounted outside the school’s sports hall in a locked cabinet which can be unlocked by inputting a code.

The equipment can be used by anybody in the community and staff and sixth-form students at the school have received training on how to use it by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Alison Reed, of Ripon Grammar School Parents’ Association, said: “The idea to install a defibrillator at the school was actually suggested by a parent.

“Everyone agreed that it would be a good idea, especially since it’s something for the school but also a benefit 
for the whole local community.”

The Parents’ Association which raised the money to buy the defibrillator organised a series of fund raising events including a murder mystery night, a summer ball, a Christmas fair and a Burns Night supper.

The defibrillator has been hailed for its ease of use, meaning anyone is able to operate it without training.

In the event of an emergency where a defibrillator is required, anybody who calls 999 will be told where the defibrillator is located, given a code to unlock the cabinet and also be provided with both written and verbal instructions on how to operate the life-saving piece of equipment.

Chris Sharp, head of leadership and learning with Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: “It’s a critical piece of equipment.

“An ambulance will get to an emergency typically within eight minutes, but in responding to a heart-attack, every second counts.”

The technology is so safe to use that even if the equipment was used on somebody who did not require defibrillation, it would not cause any harm to come to the patient.

Students at Ripon Grammar School say that they 
are confident to use the defibrillator should the need arise.

Zara Cotton, who is planning to study medicine and is also a lifeguard, said: “We aren’t ‘on call’ as such, but if we were near in an emergency we would definitely respond.”

Bryn May added: “I’m a sports coach so being able to use the defibrillator is a good thing for me to know.

“It’s quite clear how people should use it, and the instructions take you through every step of the procedure.”