Gary’s first LIVES call-out was two minutes after he signed in

FIRST MISSION: Sutton Bridge LIVES first responder Gary Croxford. SG20613-222TW
FIRST MISSION: Sutton Bridge LIVES first responder Gary Croxford. SG20613-222TW
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A new Sutton Bridge LIVES volunteer was called to a medical emergency just two minutes after he reported for his first duty on Tuesday.

First responder Gary Croxford texted the LIVES control room at 7.30pm and moments later his phone rang with a Red 1 emergency – the more serious of two categories, demanding a response within eight minutes.

The father-of-three was quickly on the spot and dealt with the incident until ambulance paramedics took over.

Gary (47) and LIVES bosses cannot divulge the nature of the drama because of patient confidentiality, but it is understood the patient was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Gary said: “I literally completed the text and the phone rang two minutes later.

“I was a little bit nervous at the beginning because I didn’t know what to expect, but once I had left and gone on the call I settled down, really, and just got on with the call.

“The ambulance did come within a few minutes of me being there as well and the ambulance crew were brilliant – they took over responsibility once they attended. They were very, very good.”

Gary is a training officer at Wingland Foods but was a first aid instructor in the military.

Two more LIVES volunteers will be on duty in Sutton Bridge by the end of this week and it’s likely there will be six by the end of July.

The group was set up following complaints about late arriving ambulances in the village and has the support of the parish council.

Gary, a parish councillor, said: “I think people will be happier that there’s someone in the village to give support between the call and the time of the ambulance arriving. I think it will bring some peace of mind to some people.”

Steven Hyde, from LIVES, said Gary got to the emergency very quickly and the ambulance crew were there very quickly after him.

“I am sure that Gary is going to be very busy until we get the rest of the group up and running,” said Steven.

LIVES are looking for more volunteers to join the Sutton Bridge group as some of the original dozen have dropped out.

There’s around a 40 per cent drop out across the county from people who step forward and then decide it’s not for them.

First responders have three days’ training and carry kit including defibrillators, oxygen, space blankets for keeping people warm and bandages.

l Volunteers can call Nigel Adams on 07876 502999.