A Stratford school is now home to a device to help the hearts in its community.

Pupils in Paritutu Room at Midhirst school have fundraised to purchase an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to have at the school.

Colleen Tett, the Paritutu Room teacher, says the AED is needed.

"The closest AED is in Stratford so the Paritutu Room decided to fundraise and get one for Midhirst."

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The Paritutu Room pupils held sausage sizzles, car washes, mufti day and used some of the money they raised from chocolate sales and the hāngī sales.

They also received support from Rural Women New Zealand, Fonterra Cross Roads, Keegan Electrical and the Midhirst community.

Last week the school hosted an open day for people in the community to see the AED and learn more about it.

The day started with a karakia and waiata from the pupils. Sunita Torrence, from Red Cross talked to the pupils about what an AED is and how to use it.

Colleen says the pupils were pleased to see the result of their hard work now installed at the school.

"We wanted to help our community. For the rural community, Midhirst is a focal point. Everyone knows where Midhirst School is. If we can save 10 minutes travel to Stratford before an AED is used, it could be the difference between life and death,"

■ The AED is at the front of Midhirst School, illuminated by lights at night to ensure it is easy to find. To use the AED, 111 has to be called to receive the code and the operator will explain how to open the box. The AED machine itself gives instructions on how to use the AED.