Call for lifesavers launched

AMBULANCE chiefs are appealing to residents in Pill to give up some of their time to become local lifesavers. Great Western Ambulance Service

AMBULANCE chiefs are appealing to residents in Pill to give up some of their time to become local lifesavers.Great Western Ambulance Service is planning to set up a community first responder scheme in the village and is now looking for volunteers.All those wanting to get involved will be trained and equipped to provide basic lifesaving care to patients prior to the arrival of paramedics.This will include the use of defibrillators on patients who have stopped breathing.Community Responder manager Kim Morrissey, who is a paramedic, said: "In a medical emergency, seconds count."Survival rates increase if basic care is applied within the first few minutes before an ambulance arrives."That is where community responders can make a real difference."We already have a number of schemes running in North Somerset and across the wider Great Western Ambulance Service region and have identified the need to provide additional support to the Pill area."Our responders come from all walks of life and are fully trained to carry out their work."We currently have a whole host of people from doctors and nurses to engineers, postal workers, gardeners and managers."One volunteer is Mike Young, a physiotherapist who runs the community responder scheme in Portishead.Mike said: "It is up to the responders how often and when they sign on with the control centre for duty."I work from home on my own and it enables me to get out in to the community and make a real difference by helping people who are in a stressful situation."The team in Portishead has a very good track record with 263 call outs in three years."Previous experience of working in medical areas is not required and there are no statutory medical requirements although responders must be at least 18-years-old.Responders must have good interpersonal and communications skills and be able to observe and record accurate details.They will need to be able to take responsibility in pressured situations, have the ability to keep calm and control difficult situations and have a high degree of flexibility.For an application form contact Kim Morrissey at Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Marybush Lane, Bristol, BS2 OAT or email

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