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Heartfelt thanks to North Yorkshire,East Yorkshire and Craven life-savers

27 April 2009

Grateful staff from Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) recently held a special event to thank life-saving volunteers in North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and Craven.

Around 130 Community First Responders, representing 18 community schemes, celebrated their hard work and dedication at the Ramada Hotel in York, who provided a free buffet and drinks especially for the event.

Community First Responders celebrate at the event in York        
Left to right: Hedon and Appleton Roebuck volunteer Community First Responders celebrate at the event in York

Community First Responders celebrate at the event in York

Ian Walton, A & E Operations Director at YAS said: “Their commitment to the Community First Responder Scheme is remarkable and they make a valuable contribution to the community.  We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical and, if effective treatment can be performed within those first minutes, lives can be saved.”

Community First Responders are volunteers who provide immediate life-saving care to members of their local communities in an emergency medical situation, such as heart attack, breathing difficulties or a collapse, in the vital minutes before the ambulance arrives.

They are trained in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) which delivers a controlled electric shock to restart the heart.  First Responders also carry portable oxygen. 

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Community Responder Scheme can contact  Neil Marsay or Paul Stevens at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service on 0845 120 3155 email neil.marsay@yas.nhs.uk or paul.stevens@yas.nhs.uk 

Notes to Editors:

1. Full training (over eight consecutive evenings) will be given to successful applicants who need to be over 18, physically fit and hold a full driving licence having never been banned from driving with no more than three penalty points.  Yorkshire Ambulance Service will also run Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on candidates.

2. More than 260,000 people suffer a heart attack in the UK each year, about a third of whom die before reaching hospital due to cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest most often occurs as a result of a heart attack, when the heart is starved of oxygen. Cardiac arrests cause the heart either to quiver, known as fibrillation, or stop beating altogether. The defibrillators carried by Community First Responders work by delivering a controlled electric shock through the chest wall to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. The faster this treatment is delivered, the better the outcome for the patient.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department