Yorkshire Ambulance Service recruits life-saving First Responder for Baildon (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Yorkshire Ambulance Service recruits life-saving First Responder for Baildon
Yorkshire Ambulance Service is appealing for life-savers to join its Community First Responder scheme across Airedale and Bradford after successfully recruiting its first volunteer for Baildon.
Businessmen Rob Higgie has just completed a three-day course in using a defibrillator, oxygen and first aid and is now on call four hours a week from his home in Cliffe Terrace.
Community First Responders are volunteers who provide immediate life-saving care in their communities in an emergency medical situation, such as a heart attack, breathing difficulties or a collapse – in the vital minutes before the ambulance arrives.
“I did it because I read an article that said 140,000 people needlessly die every year because nobody in their vicinity knows first aid,” said Mr Higgie, a health firm executive.
“I contacted Yorkshire Ambulance Service and they sent me on an excellent training course.
“Now, when I’m on duty I’m instantly alerted if a 999 call comes in from my area, then sent out if there is no ambulance nearby.
“I’m responsible for a three-mile radius from my postcode and have to drive to an incident according to Highway Code rules. YAS cover the insurance while I’m on call – even if someone is so mean-minded to complain that you cracked a rib while giving them CPR, then you’re covered,” said Mr Higgie, 52, whose parents were both doctors, as are his brother and sister-in-law.
“And my grandfather was a pharmacist, so medicine runs in our family,” he added. “But I did it because it seemed a good idea to do something positive for a community I care about.”
He said two more recruits were being considered for the Baildon area and although some 300 are spread across West Yorkshire, many more were needed.
Bradford district has 30 First Responders in six schemes. All volunteers are trained in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) which delivers a controlled electric shock to restart the heart.
Some 270,000 people suffer a heart attack in the UK each year, about a third of whom die before reaching hospital.
Dave Jones, community defibrillation officer for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service in West Yorkshire, said: “Community First Responders make a valuable contribution to their communities. We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical. If effective treatment can be performed within those first minutes, lives can be saved and disability reduced.
“Being a First Responder can be extremely rewarding and I would encourage anyone who may be interested in taking on the role to get in touch.”
Anyone interested can find out more at communityresponders.
yas.nhs.uk or on 0845 120 3155.