Oakham School installs lifesaving kit in town centre

Bursar Annika Hedrich-Wiggans and Mrs Gillian Grant, sister-in-charge of Oakham School Medical Centre.
Bursar Annika Hedrich-Wiggans and Mrs Gillian Grant, sister-in-charge of Oakham School Medical Centre.
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People in Oakham now have somewhere to turn in emergency situations after a school installed vital lifesaving equipment in the town.

Oakham School has purchased a defibrillator which is ready for public use in a bright yellow box behind Buttercross House in Market Place.

The school has also bought a second defibrillator which is soon to be installed in the school grounds near its dining hall off Ashwell Road.

A defibrillator is a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest.

The equipment cost the school £4,000 and bursar Annika Hedrich-Wiggans said it was important that one could be used by everyone in the community.

She said: “We wanted to ensure everyone in the community would be able to benefit from the life-saving device, not just pupils and staff at the school.

“By housing it in the heart of the town, where there is a lot of footfall from the market, shops and businesses, everyone will be able to use it.”

In emergency situations, members of the public who need access to a defibrillator will be given instructions of how to find the one nearest to them and how to access it, when they dial 999 and ask for the emergency services.

The school is planning to give the access code to all the local businesses to help speed up response times during an emergency.

The two defibrillators that have been purchased by the school are set to be the first of many to be installed in the town.

In November, Joyce Lucas, publicity officer for the Karen Ball Fund, who lives in Oakham, had called for clubs and businesses in the area to raise funds for the equipment.

The money raised has been matched by the fund and put towards to the purchase of several defibrillators.

The fund is currently in talks with Community Heart Beat, which provides the equipment, on where it should be located in the town. Defibrillators are also set to be installed in Edith Weston, South Luffenham and Lyddington.

Mrs Lucas said: “We are delighted that one has been installed by the school in Oakham because they are so important in emergencies. The more we have the merrier.”