A NEW defibrillator has been installed at a school in Crewkerne.

A new AED machine has been given to Ashlands First School after it was fully sponsored by A J Wakely and Sons.

It’s part of a Department of Education plan to encourage schools to purchase the devices as part of their first aid equipment.

The AEDs can be purchased by schools for a reduced cost of £500.

It’s hoped the new machine will enabled trained staff to save the lives of pupils, staff and other users of the school premises, should the occasion arise.

Lisa Carter, school business manager, said: “To my knowledge, there are four other AEDs in Crewkerne, however none of them are within easy reaching distance for us and the Mediana unit is fitted with paediatric as well as adult paddles.

“Since our school is in the heart of the community, we wanted to purchase an AED which could be accessed quickly in an emergency during school hours by everyone.

“The main entrance of our school is easily accessible from the road and can be reached within approximately one minute from the furthest part of our school grounds so we believe this to be an ideal location.

“We are all extremely grateful for the defibrillator which has been fully sponsored by A J Wakely & Sons.

“The AED is designed to be used by anyone without specific training but by following built in instructions.

“All staff at the school have been briefed in its availability and use.”

It is now hoped another sponsorship can be found in order to get another machine at Misterton Church of England First School.

Pattemores Transport has pledged to pay half of the costs, but the school is looking for more support.