Harrogate school students trained for emergencies

Ken and Jackie Waight present students and staff with the defibrillator. Picture by Adrian Murray  (1412091AM).
Ken and Jackie Waight present students and staff with the defibrillator. Picture by Adrian Murray (1412091AM).

Rossett School has a new defibrillator and students have been trained to use it in life-threatening situations.

The defibrillator was donated to the school by Ken and Jackie Waight, whose son Richard died suddenly in 2009.

The 23-year-old, who was a teacher in Doncaster, died due to sudden arrhythmia death syndrome (SADS).

After years of fundraising, the Waight family is now distributing the equipment to public places, and chose Rossett Sports Centre as one of the locations that would benefit.

Mr Waight said: “A defibrillator is potentially a life-saving device that, if available at the time someone suffers a serious heart problem, can be used to keep them alive, whilst medical treatment is given.

“Although awareness and numbers of these items are gradually increasing nationally, they are still very sparsely available when and where they are needed.”

Alongside members of staff who are able to use the equipment, four Rossett sixth-form students have been trained and completed an emergency first aid at work course, enabling them to provide the best response in an emergency.

Jake Mills, Jessica Morris and Ellen Dunn, all 16, and 17-year-old Lorna Roberts, from Harrogate, hope to go to university after they complete their A levels in 2016.

Jake said: “I’m applying for medicine at university and this is an excellent first step for me to prepare for a job in that field.”

Jessica added: “I really wanted to do the course so I can help people if the situation arises. It has given me the confidence to deal with an emergency if I need to.”

The defibrillator will be available during the school day and outside school hours for sports centre users.