Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Wind and solar powered defib cabinet donated to school in UK first

Princethorpe College in Rugby 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.

It is the first UK school to take such an initiative. The independent school for 11 to 18 year olds 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 – and local company Share Haulage Ltd; each, along with the school’s Parents and Teachers Association (PTA), 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, was launched by Turtle Defib Cabinets in December 2023, following a four-month pre-launch period with partners Northamptonshire Sport and Kington Golf Club. Princethorpe College’s cabinet has a bespoke backboard with instructions on how to use the defib equipment and the fixing pole is the colour of the Foundation’s logo.

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 explained:

“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 Princethorpe College, were 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.”

Mike Dowson, Founder and MD or Turtle Defib Cabinets, who designed and engineered the UK’s first wind and solar powered defib and bleed control cabinet, said:

“When we started on the research and development of our wind and solar powered defib cabinet over two years ago, this is the positive reaction we hoped for. I’m thankful to Princethorpe School, the OurJay Foundation and Share Haulage for recognising the benefits of Turtle’s innovative solution and want to praise them for their collaborative approach. From school sports fields to public parks, from golf courses to construction sites, places that don’t have an electric supply can be readied for medical emergencies and the wider Princethorpe community can now enjoy peace of mind.”

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.

Naomi continued: “The closest defib to Jamie when he suffered his cardiac arrest was locked in a school and most people know where the local school is located, so it was natural for the OurJay Foundation to focus on installations of public defib equipment outside education premises. We have raised over £200,000 in the last two years, installed 140 publicly accessible defibs, given 35 defibs to gyms and donated 20 portable ones to grass roots sports teams, plus educated countless young people about CPR and using defib equipment. Most importantly, seven lives have been saved by the medical equipment and we’re receiving more donations than ever; thank you to all our supporters.”

The OurJay Foundation has also launched a new app today, 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.

For more information about Turtle’s defib cabinets, bleed control cabinets and the equipment to place inside, please visit www.turtledefibcabinets.co.uk.

To learn more about Princethorpe College, visit www.princethorpe.co.uk.

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