Heart patients will be among those to benefit from new campaigns by a lifesaving charity as it celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2015.
Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service (LIVES) will mark the milestone by encouraging schools, businesses and villages to invest in their own defibrillators – machines that can correct erratic beating of the heart.
In 2014 LIVES personnel used defibrillators on heart patients at least 191 times – securing a return of circulation on 90 occasions, providing a return rate of 48 per cent, which the charity describes as “an incredible accomplishment”.
Stephen Hyde, the charity’s fundraising, marketing and recruitment manager, said: “As LIVES is 45-years-old, I have set myself the challenge to get 45 defibrillators into schools, 45 into businesses and 45 into rural villages.
“We are so excited to be celebrating our 45th anniversary and all we have achieved in those 45 years. During the year we will be trying to raise the awareness of LIVES and the important work we do.”
The charity was founded in 1970 by Nettleham-based Dr Michael Cooper and Tetford-based Dr Richard Harper-Smith following an horrific accident on the A1 which saw the casualty die because there was no immediate medical help.
Another GP, Dr Ken Easton, developed the services of a voluntary group of doctors who would be available to attend road accidents.
Today LIVES is an essential part of emergency medical care in Lincolnshire as it provides lifesaving assistance in the first few minutes before an ambulance arrives.
It relies on groups of volunteer responders and medics to be on call to emergencies on their patch.
Stephen said LIVES dealt with a little under 17,000 calls across Lincolnshire in the 12 months to the end of November – and they expect the December tally to be around 1,500.
He said Spalding LIVES group had one responder who answered 25 calls over Christmas.
“Spalding group have done a lot of calls this year,” said Stephen. “We have a couple of groups that have done three or four times the number of calls that they did last year.”