Police lead campaign to install defibrallators in schools
18 Apr 2017 10:00 AM[View Full Size]
A police officer is leading a campaign to install defibrillators in schools after teaming up with a local charity.
PC Emma Bowman's day job normally involves her stepping out on patrol across Gateshead, engaging with local people and pursuing criminals operating in her patch.
But that is not the only way PC Bowman is trying to save lives - after teaming up with a local charity with the hope of installing defibrillators in schools across the North East.
The Gateshead bobby has also been joined by Ryan Murphy, from Whickham School and Sports College, who has now set up his own business delivering first aid in schools.
PC Bowman has so far helped introduce the life-saving equipment in four schools in the area - with Clover Hill Primary School in Sunniside the latest to be given a defibrillator.
And now she is hoping to raise more money so they can introduce defibrillators in more schools across the force area.
PC Bowman, who works as part of Gateshead West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "I initially started this as a personal goal to raise funds and awareness to get this life saving equipment in my daughters school.
"In the role that I do you come across a number of tragic cases and I thought this was something that I could do to make sure the school had everything they needed if a child, or adult for that matter, did go into cardiac arrest.
"When I started to raise the funds for that, I quickly realised that I could use my role as a neighbourhood police officer to raise awareness and actually be able to do this for many more schools in the area.
"I managed to get together a bit of a team of people including the charity 'Hearts with Goals', the NHS, LG Fitness and other members of the community who wanted to help with the project.
"Ryan Murphy has also been fantastic and has set up his own first aid buisness to provide accredited first aid training in schools.
"We have been able to raise enough money to fund the introduction of defibrillators in four schools which means hundreds of children's lives could be saved if they are ever in need of that type of urgent medical attention.
"I am really proud to have been a part of that and if it saves the life of one child then it has all been worthwhile."
Other schools to have introduced the equipment - which costs around £500 as part of a government scheme - include Fellside School, the first to install the equipment, and Gibside School in Whickham.
Every single year as many as 270 children die in the UK after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest at school and every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the person’s chances of survival by up to 10 per cent when they go into cardiac arrest.
To help PC Bowman in her fundraising efforts then visit https://www.goldengiving.com/secure/donation/north-east-hearts-with-goals.