ALL HIGH schools in Rossendale now have potentially lifesaving defibrillators on the premises.

The equipment has been acquired thanks to the efforts of Rossendale community first responder team leader, Brian Pickup.

Mr Pickup and his team have recently delivered free training sessions to members of staff and pupils at Haslingden High School, All Saints Catholic Language College, Fearns Community Sports College and Whitworth Community High School.

Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School is arranging its training in early 2013.

Mr Pickup said: “A defibrillator delivers an electrical current through the chest, which aims to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm allowing it to pump again.

“Rapid response using a defibrillator can significantly improve the quality of life of a survivor.

“When applied to the victim, voice commands and screen messages will guide the user step-by-step through the process and its intelligent technology will only allow it to shock a ‘shockable’ heart rhythm, it cannot deliver a shock to someone who is just unconscious.

“This technology opens a window for the public to take on a key role to support parmedics and first responders.”

Emergency services have reported an increase in young people suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

An high profile example was ex-Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba, who suffered cardiac arrest earlier this year during a game at Tottenham.

A portable defibrillator was brought onto the pitch during successful attempts to restart his heart. Mr Pickup added that recently, a 15-year-old boy in Rossendale was also saved.