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College Installs Wind And Solar Powered Defib

15 Mar

Princethorpe College is leading the way in pupil and community medical emergency safety as well as sustainable thinking, by installing a wind and solar powered defib and bleed control cabinet.

The College is the first UK school to take such an initiative and has partnered with the OurJay Foundation – which fundraises and campaigns for publicly accessible defibrillators and trains and educates on CPR and the use of defibs – local company Share Haulage Ltd and the school's Parents and Teachers Association (PTA); each has funded one-third of the costs.

The innovative technology which can help to save lives in places where an electricity supply may be restricted or cost-prohibitive to install, has been provided by Turtle Defib Cabinets.

Already in discussions with Princethorpe College’s PTA about installing a public defib in an optimal location for the community and to serve the school’s sports fields, Naomi Rees-Issitt, the founder of the OurJay Foundation, saw news about Turtle’s solar and wind defib cabinet. She explains: “It’s a staggering fact that 91 per cent of cardiac arrests happen within 500 yards of a school but often they are behind closed doors. In discussion with the PTA at Princethorpe we wanted to see if we could install one on the sports fields, near to the main Coventry to Banbury road. There was no electricity supply in the desired location, so we looked to find an alternative solution. We said wouldn’t it be great if there was a renewable energy option and then discovered Turtle’s brand-new technology being used at a golf club. The timing was perfect, and the cabinet met all our needs.”

OurJay’s partner, Share Haulage, quickly offered to support the project and the College, was happy to go ahead with the installation. As a school which promotes sustainability, it is delighted to be the first to use the UK-first, green-energy technology. The OurJay Foundation is also donating a wired defib cabinet to Princethorpe’s sister school, for pupils aged four to 11, the Crescent School in Bilton, Rugby.

The wind and solar powered defib cabinet has been installed on the College grounds, and Turtle, the OurJay Foundation and Princethorpe College have worked together with the West Midlands Ambulance Service to ensure that the code to the school gate and cabinet will be provided by the 999 handler in an emergency.   

Grove du Toit, Headmaster at Princethorpe College, said: “It’s a real honour to be leading the way on the installation of this new defib technology. We understand that the first seven minutes are crucial when dealing with a cardiac arrest, so having the equipment close to hand and easily accessible to both our pupils and the public will be a major factor in potentially saving lives. We thank the OurJay Foundation, Share Haulage and our PTA for all their support.”  

Louise Adkins, Managing Director of Share Haulage, added: “We have been a proud supporter of the OurJay Foundation from the very beginning so when Naomi told me about the proposed installation at Princethorpe College and with my daughter already a pupil here, I was delighted to donate towards the unit. I look forward to seeing more installed on school sports fields and other places beneficial to the public.”

Having public access to life-saving equipment is at the heart of the OurJay Foundation’s vision; Naomi founded the OurJay Foundation after her 18-year-old son Jamie suffered a cardiac arrest and sadly died because the nearest defibrillator was locked inside the local secondary school. It’s why OurJay focuses on installing publicly accessible cabinets outside schools and where people can be easily directed to them in any local community. OurJay also campaigns to make more young people aware of heart safety and first aid training like CPR that could save a life. 

The OurJay Foundation has launched a new app, which shows a map locating all the defibs it has donated and contains information and advice about what to do in a medical heart emergency and how public defibs work. For more information and how to download, visit www.ourjay.org.uk.