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Appeal for Local Life-saver in North and East Yorkshire

19 February 2013

We are looking for community minded locals to join our life-saving volunteer Community First Responder scheme.

New recruits are being sought to boost the numbers in existing schemes in the following areas: Aldborough; Helmsley; Market Weighton; Pickering; Whitby; Withernsea.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has hundreds of Community First Responders working and living in local communities across the region who are trained in in basic life-support, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and oxygen therapy.

Volunteers are equipped with a kit which includes oxygen and an automated external defibrillator (AED) to help patients in a medical emergency such as a heart attack, collapse or breathing difficulties until the ambulance arrives.

Appleal for Local Life-savers in North and East Yorkshire

Neil Marsay, the Service’s Community Defibrillation Officer, is urging anyone who is interested in learning life-saving skills to help those living within their local community to consider the role. He said: “We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical and if effective treatment can be performed within those minutes, lives can be saved and disability reduced.

“As volunteers are based within the community, they may only be a minute or two away from a medical emergency and very often their role is to simply provide vital reassurance to patients and their families until ambulance clinicians arrive. However, in extreme cases, such as a heart attack, they can perform CPR or use their defibrillator to restart someone’s heart which could save a life.

“Many people volunteer with us to gain experience or to help their local community and some people have had personal experience of a loved one needing prompt medical attention and can see the value in this role. Volunteers come from all walks of life, young and old, working or retired, including teachers and taxi drivers to shop keepers and even army sergeants!”

“Being part of this initiative can be extremely rewarding and I would encourage anyone who may be interested in helping their local community to take on the role.”

Full training is given to successful applicants who need to be over 18, physically fit and hold a full driving licence (having never been banned from driving or have more than three penalty points). Yorkshire Ambulance Service will also run Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on candidates.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Community First Responder Scheme can contact Neil Marsay at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, tel: on 0845 120 3155 or email responders@yas.nhs.uk

Did you know ...

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