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Death of Nelson school worker inspires defibrillator fundraising
4:00pm Saturday 20th October 2012 in News
THE tragic death of a Nelson school worker has inspired his former pupils to raise money to buy life-saving equipment.
Father-of-five Michael Downing, 64, was supervising a lunchtime break at Pendle Vale Campus last November when he suffered a heart attack and collapsed.
Now students from the Pendle Vale College and Pendle Community High School have donated more than £1,900 towards the purchase of three defibrillators.
With backing from the British Heart Foundation, staff and students at the schools have also undergone extensive training so that they can use the devices in the future.
They will be located at the main college entrance, the main corridor of the high school and near the refectory on level two of the campus.
Headteacher at Pendle Vale College, Steve Wilson, said it was the campus was on a mission to ensure staff and students are trained in CPR.
He said: “The tragic death of Michael, a parent, member of staff and governor at Pendle Vale College, hit our close knit community very hard. Despite the tremendous efforts of first aid trained staff Michael eventually lost his fight.
“The purchase of these defibrillators, through the efforts and generosity of staff and students, will not bring our valued and loved colleague and friend back but may help us save individuals in the future.”
Teacher Malcolm Linford said that funding was also in place to create an a training unit that schools throughout Lancashire will be invited to use to learn the basics of using a defibrillator.
Mr Linford added: “I’m delighted at the uptake of training - everyone from cooks to caretakers have got involved.”
Barbara Dunn, British Heart Foundation fundraising manager in Lancashire, said: “Having more defibrillators available locally for these emergencies is crucial to saving more lives."
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