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Lifesavers at school

PUBLISHED: 15:19 25 June 2008 | UPDATED: 14:36 07 July 2010

Life savers of tomorrow are being trained on how to deal with emergency situations from minor cuts to major heart attacks in Dereham.

St Nicholas Junior School has joined the Heartstart school scheme, part of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), after picking the charity as its annual charity.

Life savers of tomorrow are being trained on how to deal with emergency situations from minor cuts to major heart attacks in Dereham.

St Nicholas Junior School has joined the Heartstart school scheme, part of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), after picking the charity as its annual charity.

And, thanks to Dereham Lions club, who helped buy specialist equipment to help with training, children from age seven are learning vital skills which could help save people's lives.

And staff have access and training to use a lifesaving defibrillator, which could save heart attack victim's lives.

Andy Milbourne, head teacher at the school, said: “The children have been excellent, all take part in the training, from putting people in the recovery position, and they are very good.”

He said the programme would become a regular part of the school's programme and children would have refresher courses each year and learn new skills as they grow older - when they reach sixth form they will learn CPR, which can increase heart attack patient's chances of survival by some 40pc.

He said statistically a heart attack victim has a 2pc chance of survival if an ambulance is called. That rises to 40pc if they are given CPR until the ambulance arrives.

And he said a school was more likely to have a child suffering a heart attack than it was having a fire - so it was important to have a defibrillator on site.

It also means it is there for the community to use if it is needed.

Dereham Lions club helped raise cash to buy some of the equipment needed for the training at the school, including resuscitation dolls. The school itself raised more than £1,800 and gave donations of £500 and £325 to Heartstart and the BHF.

The town's sixth form has supported the scheme and the equipment at the school is also being loaned out to other local schools to help spread the Heartstart programme.

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