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Life savers needed in Wisbech




First Responder Paul Sweeney is appealing for more volunteers to join the group'left to right Steve Hammond area trainer, Paul Sweeney Coordinator and Emma Morris responder ANL-160902-082857009
First Responder Paul Sweeney is appealing for more volunteers to join the group'left to right Steve Hammond area trainer, Paul Sweeney Coordinator and Emma Morris responder ANL-160902-082857009

A group which helps to save lives around Wisbech is appealing for more volunteers to join its ranks.

Wisbech First Responders support the ambulance service by attending cardiac arrests and other medical emergencies ahead of the arrival of paramedics.

First Responder Paul Sweeney is appealing for more volunteers to join the group'left to right Steve Hammond area trainer, Paul Sweeney Coordinator and Emma Morris responder ANL-160902-082909009
First Responder Paul Sweeney is appealing for more volunteers to join the group'left to right Steve Hammond area trainer, Paul Sweeney Coordinator and Emma Morris responder ANL-160902-082909009

But the group has just three people covering the core area, with two more in Elm and Friday Bridge.

Now the group is appealing for more volunteers to step forward to be trained.

Co-ordinator Paul Sweeney says volunteers will get a lot out of the role.

He said: “The biggest thing is that you have a lot of job satisfaction.

“You are the first on scene a lot of the time and you are there to help the public at a time when they really need it.

“You could end up saving a life.”

The East of England Ambulance service has been running the community first responders scheme for several years.

The volunteers can increase a collapsed patient’s chances of survival by 10 per cent by arriving within three to four minutes.

First responders’ aim is to stabilise a patient until the arrival of ambulance crews.

Volunteers will be dispatched by ambulance control to cardiac arrests, breathing problems, issues with diabetes, but do not attend car crashes.

First responders are given full training over an 18-hour course, which includes first aid, resuscitation, dealing with patients and infection control.

The course will be followed by an exam.

First responders must be fit, aged between 18 and 70 and have a caring nature.

Mr Sweeney fits the role around his work as an ambulance fleet assistant but is hoping to become a paramedic.

He said: “During one of my recent shifts, between 6pm and 10pm, I was called out four times as the nearest ambulances were in King’s Lynn, Downham Market and Peterborough.

“That is a lot of time for someone to be waiting.”

If you are interested in becoming a first responder call 01603 481220 or 0845 6013733.

Alternatively you can email norfolkresponder@eastamb.nhs.uk

For more go to: www.eastamb.nhs.uk



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