Plea for more lifesavers in Sutton Bridge

LIVES COORDINATOR: Gary Croxford, who leads the responders in Sutton Bridge. SG120613-222TW
LIVES COORDINATOR: Gary Croxford, who leads the responders in Sutton Bridge. SG120613-222TW
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LIVES are seeking volunteers to become first responders in Sutton Bridge now the seven-strong group has dwindled to just two.

The group started tackling its first medical emergencies in June last year and was set up following a string of late-arriving ambulances in one of the most remote spots in the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) area.

Parish councillor Gary Croxford – the village’s LIVES co-ordinator – made a plea for more volunteers to step forward, telling the parish council: “We are struggling to provide cover. We need some people to come forward to start picking up and covering off some of the shifts.”

LIVES first responders often make the difference between life and death because they live on the spot and get there quickly.

Nige Adams, LIVES first responder development officer, said the national average survival rate for people who go into cardiac arrest is between five and ten per cent – but that shoots up to 63 per cent in Lincolnshire when LIVES intervene.

Mr Adams said: “We had a new responder in Deeping St Nicholas who recently went out to a cardiac arrest – in other words the patient was clinically dead.

“He knew exactly where he was going, got to the patient quickly and started working on him.

“Three weeks later the patient knocked on the responder’s door to say ‘thanks for all you’ve done’.”

LIVES first responders must be over 18 and have a driving licence – all the medical training is given by LIVES over three days with some ongoing training throughout a responder’s service to keep their skills up to date.

“No previous medical knowledge or clinical background is required,” he said.

Responders are trained to use kit like defibrillators and give oxygen therapy and are sent out to a range of urgent medical problems, such as chest pains, difficulty breathing, angina and heart attacks.

EMAS crews take over as soon as they arrive.

Mr Adams said late ambulance arrivals are not the crews’ fault – and they do a fantastic job.

“We are always pleased to see them and they are pleased to see us,” he said.

n To volunteer call Mr Adams on 07876 502999 or Mr Croxford on 07938 810277.