IT’S one of the country’s leading charities in training people in first aid and health and safety.

And now St John Ambulance has thrown its weight behind the Daily Echo’s campaign for defibrillators to be installed in all Hampshire schools.

The charity wants to go even further, recommending the devices are posted in offices, shops and community buildings.

The Save a Life in Schools campaign was launched after 16-yearold Sam Mangoro’s, below, life was saved by four teachers with a defibrillator at Mountbatten School, Romsey, after he collapsed during a PE lesson.

Daily Echo:

Regional director for St John Ambulance's South East commercial training department, Mel Fox, said: “We are delighted and relieved to hear that Sam is making a good recovery and that the staff at Mountbatten School acted so quickly and effectively using both the defibrillator and their CPR skills.

“We wholeheartedly support the Southern Daily Echo’s campaign to encourage schools to purchase defibtillators and train more staff in potentially life-saving first aid skills.

“Defibrillators are very easy to use and for only £980 they can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

“As happened with Sam, an emergency can unfold in seconds and there is no doubt that without the defibrillator and first aid training, the staff and children would have been left helpless and not knowing what to do.”

Meanwhile, Sam is recovering well but faces another month in hospital, according to his dad.

Michael Mangoro said: “He is having a number of tests done and I think it will result in him having some form of internal defibrillator fitted. But he is awake and walking around albeit extremely lethargicly and with a nurse to accompany him.

“But we were able to celebrate my wife’s birthday in hospital and we were desperate to do that to make sure Sam was involved as it would not have been the same without him.”