First Responders provide a vital service

Pictured is one of the mobile defibrillator units.
Pictured is one of the mobile defibrillator units.
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I recently enjoyed popping in to the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Fun Day at Rolls-Royce Leisure, Barnoldswick.

Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team and the ambulance service were both there, too, putting on a great day for all those who came along, especially families with children.

All our emergency services work incredibly hard to keep us safe and provide help when it is required. I have been working, especially with the ambulance service, on ways they can improve the service they deliver across Pendle. I will be meeting with a member of the NHS Leadership Executive Fast Track Programme to learn more about plans to improve the ambulance service in East Lancashire, including a new advanced community paramedic role. One initiative is providing more community defibrillators. We now have community defibrillators on the side of the public toilets in Barnoldswick, at Earby bus station, and one on the outside wall of the Four Alls pub in Higham. Many more are being located in our workplaces and schools.

There are ways Pendle residents can help too, for example by becoming community first responders. These are ordinary members of the public who receive training on how to treat and control a wide range of potentially life-threatening conditions and use defibrillators. First responders provide support to the ambulance service by attending serious and life threatening 999 calls in the community to provide the earliest possible intervention, before the arrival of an ambulance.

There was a recent recruitment event in Barnoldswick where eight people showed a firm interest in becoming first responders and I hope more people will think about it. First responders have worked with the ambulance service for years, but in some areas, like Nelson, there are now very few, so I am doing all I can to sign more up.