STAFF at Padre Pio RC Primary School have received first aid training from Welsh Ambulance Service community first responders after a defibrillator was donated to the school.

The staff were taught basic CPR, what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest, and basic lifesaver skills.

The whole team of staff were involved in the training, including the headteacher, teachers, teaching assistants, office staff and dinner ladies.

Community first responder for the Pontypool area Simon Crichton said that the school had approached the local community first response (CFR) team about getting a defibrillator for the school.

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Teaching assistant Jenna Powell and teacher Nia Thomas receiving training from St John’s volunteer Jamie Tennet

He said: "A member of staff at the school has a husband who is a member the local St John's division that I run.

"He asked if we could get an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) for the school.

"After discussions with the school and the head of my CFR scheme, our CFR scheme has managed to obtain a new fully automatic defibrillator for the school."

Mr Crichton said that it was "essential" that there were more defibrillators available for use in the community and that there were more qualified people to use them.

"For every one minute that someone does not get treated with a defibrillator or CPR, their chances of survival goes down ten per cent.

"That means even if an ambulance gets there in the target of eight minutes, then their chances of survival has reduced dramatically.


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"The AEDs are out there, but people either don't know how to use them or are too afraid to.

"It is such a simple piece of equipment to use. If you can open a box, you can use a defibrillator."

Padre Pio headteacher Paul Welsh said that the staff at the school were keen to get a defibrillator and the necessary training.

"We heard that the community first response team had some defibrillators available. They asked if we would be interested in having one.

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Rachel Sculley, Ann Dawkins receiving training from Community First Responder Simon Crichton.

"The whole staff were keen for us to do so.

"To receive the defibrillator, the whole staff need to be trained to use it.

"We are hoping that we never have to use it but it's really important that we have it just in case."