London Fire Brigade

Big hearted firefighters get schools defibrillator protected

05 October 2015

A group of our big hearted London firefighters have started a charity which is campaigning for schools to be defibrillator protected.

White watch at Lee Green fire station were inspired to start The Firefighter Foundation after reading national statistics* that show 270 children die each year from cardiac arrest at schools in the UK.

The charity's Sweet Heart campaign is now aiming to increase awareness of the life saving benefits of defibrillators and advise schools on how they can raise funds  to buy one and access training to use them.

Working in partnership with For Jimmy - previously the Jimmy Mizen Foundation - and supported by St John Ambulance and London Fire Brigade, The Firefighter Foundation have presented Trinity School in Lewisham with a defibrillator at Lee Green fire station.

This is the first defibrillator presentation to be made by the charity.

Deaths could be 'dramatically reduced'

The charity's founder, Watch Manager Kevin Quinn, said: "All of London Fire Brigade's fire engines are equipped with defibrillators so we see first hand what a difference they can make .

"Currently there is no legal requirement for defibrillators to be kept in schools but if they are used within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest they can give people a 70 per cent chance of survival.

"There is no question that the number of deaths from cardiac arrest could be dramatically reduced if all schools were defibrillator protected and that is what we want to see."

New charity supported by St John Ambulance and ‘For Jimmy’

Mary Smith, Schools and Community Projects Manager for London St John Ambulance, said:  "We're campaigning for more defibs in public places, as we know that will mean many more lives saved each year, so we're delighted to be working alongside the Firefighter Foundation on this campaign.

"We also want to see every pupil in the country learning life saving skills. Earlier this month we joined forces with the British Heart Foundation and British Red Cross to launch the Every Child a Lifesaver campaign to make first aid compulsory in all state-funded secondary schools."

Barry Mizen, from the For Jimmy charity, said: "We are proud to support The Firefighter Foundation's Sweet Heart campaign.

"The safety of all of us is the priority of our great firefighting service, and this campaign will help to save even more lives. We urge everyone to help by supporting in anyway you can."

The presentation at Lee Green Fire Station on Friday (2 October) was attended by Lee Green White Watch, pupils and staff from the Trinity School, the For Jimmy charity, St John Ambulance and our Fire Cadets who gave a demonstration.