Lifesaving addition for school community

THE fundraising efforts of the Lenah Valley Primary School community has seen it receive a lifesaving boost with the purchase of a community automated external defibrillator (AED).

In addition to a number of fundraising school events held over the past few months – including the biennial school fair – the school’s Student Voice worked hard to encourage donations of loose change in each classroom to contribute to the fund.

“We raised more than $1000 through our spare change fundraiser,” School Association committee member Katie Ennis said.

“The Student Voice had also run a footy colours day in term three and a teddy bear picnic in term four that went towards it.

“The kids also designed some wonderful posters that were put up around the school to raise awareness.”

Mrs Ennis said they reached the target to buy the defibrillator sooner than expected.

“Families were excited to contribute to a specific item which could benefit the whole school community,” she said.

The initiative was led by the Lenah Valley School Association, which includes parents who are staff at nearby medical facilities.

Mrs Ennis said the School Association saw the need for the AED device in the school and immediate community as it was a valuable instrument that could save lives.

“There are a lot of community groups that come in and use the school hall after hours and in the evenings,” School Association member Geni Francis said.

“The defibrillator will be located down near the oval classrooms, where it is easy to access for the school, community groups and other immediate community members.”

Using an AED on a patient with heart problems means that patient is receiving immediate assistance while professional medical help is on its way.

An AED dramatically increases the survival rate of a patient suffering from a cardiac arrhythmia.

With simple instructions and audio commands, an AED does not need to be used by a medical professional.

Ms Francis said the school had its defibrillator on the Ambulance Tasmania registry so others in the area would know about it and be able to use it.

She said teachers and staff at Lenah Valley Primary would be trained in how to use the defibrillator before school went back this year.

“It’s something you don’t ever want to have to use, but it’s also something that you’d kick yourself for not having if you ever did need it,” Ms Francis said.

Caption: Lenah Valley Primary School students and School Association members with the newly purchased automated external defibrillator.

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