Training in emergency life support is to be introduced in schools across the Western Isles.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s education and children’s services committee agreed to grant £30,000 toward the Lucky2BHere project which will see defribillators installed and training provided at all schools in the Western Isles. The comhairle is the now the first local authority in Scotland to introduce emergency life support onto the Curriculum for Excellence.
Councillor Catriona Stewart, chair of education and children’s services, said: “Schools play a vital part in communities and this equipment and training will add to the resilience of those communities. There are defribillators at a number of locations across the islands including some schools where the pupils have been very enthusiastic about the scheme. However this programme will increase that provision so that all schools have the equipment and training. Importantly the aim is to have the equipment on the outside of school buildings so that it is available for community use at any time.”
Lucky2BHere was established by Skye man Ross Cowie in December 2009 after he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. His life was saved by a nearby ambulance crew and the life saving equipment that they carried. Welcoming the news Mr Cowie said: “Lucky2BHere has been lobbying for emergency life support to be on the Curriculum for Excellence for a number of years. For the Western Isles schools to do so and to be the first in Scotland to do so, is fantastic news and I congratulate the comhairle on taking forward this initiative.”
Angus Morrison is a trainer and co-ordinator of Lucky2BHere in the Western Isles. He said: “This is good news for communities across the Western isles and I am delighted that it has been agreed to proceed with this programme of life-saving equipment and training.”
The news was also welcomed by Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant, who said she was “delighted” the comhairle passed the motion. She added: “The pupils and the comhairle are to be congratulated for their positive attitude towards this and I very much hope that other councils in the Highlands and Islands and beyond will follow suit.”