Games legacy lives on at Derrymore school

A Lurgan school has been selected to receive a life-saving defibrillator as part of the 2013 World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) legacy.

St Mary’s Primary School, Derrymore was amongst those deemed to have submitted the best entries explaining why they should receive one of the 45 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) originally stationed at this year’s Games.

The devices, manufactured by Belfast company HeartSine Technologies, were presented to representatives from the selected schools by Sports Minister Carál Ni Chuilín at a special ceremony held at Stormont.

Speaking at the presentation of the defibrillators, Minister Ní Chuilín said: “The World Police and Fire Games were a landmark event, which saw 7000 competitors from 67 countries competing in 56 sports.

“Add to this the tens of thousands of spectators, 3,500 volunteers and numerous support staff and you have a sporting celebration on a grand scale.

“After the event, the focus turns to the legacy and how we can use the momentum of the Games to make a positive impact on people’s lives – particularly in areas of deprivation and social exclusion.

“That is why I welcome this initiative, which sees a potentially lifesaving piece of equipment given to schools. It is a positive development for those at the schools, and their wider communities.

“I would like to thank HeartSine Technologies, who manufactured the defibrillators, for their support during the Games, and for this important contribution to the legacy.

“It is impossible to predict when a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) may occur. What we can do, however, is prepare best as we can.”

Seamus Murray, Director of Business Services at 2013 WPFG Limited said: “In August we celebrated the Games and its success, today we are able to continue that success through our legacy work with one of our key sponsors, Heartsine.

“The involvement of schools in the Games was one of our key priorities, to see so many of those schools here today from right across Northern Ireland receiving their defibrillators is tremendous.”

Frank McCorry, principal at St Mary’s PS, said: “Every school has a duty of care to its pupils and staff.

“Being successful in this campaign means that we can, with training, extend that responsibility to provide assistance in an area that is beyond our current capability.

“Given the school’s rural location, the importance of having a defibrillator and trained staff to use it, cannot be measured.”