Shropshire school has defibrillator installed after sudden death of teacher

A new defibrillator machine has been installed at a school in north Shropshire following the sudden death of a teacher earlier this year.

The machine at Thomas Adams School in Wem was paid for with money raised at a charity football match in memory of Gareth Utting.
Mr Utting, an English teacher at the school in Lowe Hill Road, died suddenly from a suspected heart attack on April 2, aged just 37.

In response 11 members of staff have now been trained in how to use the defibrillator machine.

Headteacher Liz Dakin said: “It is very important to react the the tragic news we had earlier this year.

“The football match was a great tribute to Mr Utting and a lovely way to remember him.

“We continue to remember him in many ways but we also felt it was appropriate to take safety measures as well.

“The defibrillator is a precaution and hopefully it will never have to be used but it is a huge benefit to have it here and have staff trained in how to use it.

“This means it is also available to the community sports activities which take place here.”

The fundraising football match, which took place at Wem Town Football Club in May, was between staff and sixth form students.

It was watched by more than 200 people and raised over £900 for the defibrillator machine.

Staff were trained in how to use the machine by Dawn Bush from the West Midlands Ambulance Service at a training day last month (OCT 24).

Mrs Dakin added: “We had plenty of staff who were eager to be trained in using the defibrillator and it is a testament to their attitude towards being prepared.

“The machine will be a benefit if any one here would ever need it, be it students, teachers, other members of staff or the community.”

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