BUSINESSES in East Lancashire are being urged to buy defibrillators for local schools.
Hapton-based heart failure charity Pumping Marvellous wants a donation of £1,200 from every company in the area for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) - portable devices which can shock a stopped heart back into rhythm.
Charity founder, Nick Hartshorne-Evans, said: “Twelve young people a week die of cardiac arrests, and of those, eight were undiagnosed problems.
“If two planes full of young people crashed every year, would it be acceptable not to investigate it?
“Companies have got the money for this. It’s social responsibility to take up the slack because of the lack of public investment.
“If a business can raise £1,200, they can offset that against tax and tell us where they want the AED.
“We will then go into the school with the British Red Cross to teach the first responders how to use the machine, then the staff and the pupils.
“What we do insist on though is that the local community within a one-and-a-half minute walk away, also have access to the AED.
“The figures speak for themselves - without an AED, the chance of surviving cardiac arrest is five per cent, but with an AED, the chance is 50 per cent.”
A letter from Pumping Marvellous will soon be sent to all big businesses in East Lancashire, asking for donations.
Already Manchester-based Co-Operative Funeral Care have donated over £4,000 for three AEDS, two of which will be given to Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn.
Nick said: “One AED will be at the school, and the other will be at the Harrison Playing Fields in Lammack, which is used by several different schools with thousands of pupils.”
“Part of this campaign is also about taking the fear out of first aid. A lot of people are scared about using AEDs because they think they might get it wrong, but it’s not possible.
“It’s important to know that if the machine detects a heart rhythm, it won’t shock.”
Contact Pumping Marvellous at http://pumpingmarvellous. com/