Ahipara School wins de­fib­ril­la­tor

Northern News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

Ahipara School has won a de­fib­ril­la­tor, a life-sav­ing de­vice used to re­sus­ci­tate vic­tims of a car­diac ar­rest.

Ahipara lo­cal Lisa Merlo en­tered the school in the Be­come a Heart Saver com­pe­ti­tion run by com­pany Heart Saver.

‘‘We are su­per ex­cited to have this for our com­mu­nity and for the thou­sands of tourists we have visit ev­ery year,’’ Merlo says.

‘‘Our fire brigade and surf res­cue have lim­ited re­sources for the huge area they cover so it is fan­tas­tic to have a very im­por­tant re­source like an AED [au­to­mated ex­ter­nal de­fib­ril­la­tor] avail­able for our peo­ple. We will keep it in the school of­fice.’’

The Ahipara School, with 240 stu­dents, is a hub for the small com­mu­nity around 14km, west of Kaitaia, with peo­ple hav­ing to drive past on their way into and out of the town. Heart Saver be­gan af­ter manag­ing di­rec­tor (and vol­un­teer fire­fighter for 20 years) Mike Man­der saw a need for more de­fib­ril­la­tors to be read­ily avail­able in com­mu­ni­ties.

The busi­ness is giv­ing away an AED ev­ery month in 2017 to non­proft or­gan­i­sa­tions and char­ity groups. AEDs are por­ta­ble and de­signed so even chil­dren could save the life of some­one ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a heart at­tack.

The use of an AED within three to five min­utes of col­lapse can in­crease the chance of sur­vival by up to 40 per cent.

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