Join Pateley’s team and help save lives

4/12/09  Smoke rises from a small industrial unit  in the village of Summerbridge in Nidderdale rising through the trees of differerent colours.'Photo taken on a Nikon D2Xs digital camera with a 70-200 mm lens at 70mm with an exposure of 1/500th sec at f8 with an ISO of 400
4/12/09 Smoke rises from a small industrial unit in the village of Summerbridge in Nidderdale rising through the trees of differerent colours.'Photo taken on a Nikon D2Xs digital camera with a 70-200 mm lens at 70mm with an exposure of 1/500th sec at f8 with an ISO of 400

Volunteers are needed to join a Pateley Bridge team which is first on the scene at medical emergencies.

The area’s Community First Responders, who work to reduce the number of pre-hospital deaths in the area, are urging people to get in touch, because they may be able to save a life.

First Responders are alerted to emergencies by the ambulance service, and get there first to help the patient because they live locally.

Volunteers are trained in basic life support skills, CPR and the use of a defibrillator, and scheme co-ordinator Christopher Hooper says anyone can be a responder.

The retired ambulance driver said: “I joined the scheme because even with the best drivers in the world it can take ambulances up to 20 minutes to get to emergencies in the Dales, so it is important to have people close by who can administer help quickly.

“We get there first. When the 999 call goes through to ambulance control, they have a list of responders, so if anyone is not breathing, or is unconscious, we are sent there to resuscitate them and give them oxygen.

“I understand dealing with a heart attack for the first time is a big thing. That’s why, for the first few call-outs, I can go along with new volunteers, because they may be nervous.

“There are five volunteers at the moment, aged between 25 and 65. Anyone over the age of 18 with their own car should get in touch. You can do it at 70, if you are fit enough!”

Christopher explained you do not need any past experience of life saving skills.

He said: “YAS provides the training, so people don’t need to have experience of medical emergencies. The equipment we have is supplied by the YAS. It includes a defibrillator and oxygen. The busiest time is summer, when the population grows because the caravan parks fill up.”

Volunteers can contact Christopher on 01423711739, or YAS First Responder Trainer Chrissy Blakeley on 07769684961 or via email chrissy.blakeley@yas.nhs.uk