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Appeal for volunteer life savers to sign up

09:33 09 January 2013

First responder Alan Rudd

First responder Alan Rudd

Archant © 2011

An appeal has been made for volunteers to step forward to potentially help save lives across Beccles and Bungay.

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Community First Responders are needed across the two towns, with low numbers reducing the hours they are able to cover.

Now Alan Rudd, Bungay coordinator, has made an appeal for more people to come forward to join the teams, who aim to be first on the scene following a 999 medical call.

Mr Rudd, 30, said that in Bungay there were just two responders, meaning that only nine hours a day were able to be covered, while in Beccles there were four.

“Cover is quite limited, so we have to cover more ourselves, but it is important to get more responders to help more people, particularly in Bungay,” he said.

The two groups are trained by the East of England Ambulance Service in basic life support techniques and are called to emergencies in the area to help in the vital first few minutes before an ambulance arrives.

Mr Rudd, of Ditchingham, has been a responder for three-and-a-half years and thinks he has helped nearly 600 people while on call.

He said: “It is great to know that you are helping someone within the community. You are helping people in need and offering that extra support before the ambulance arrives.”

Mr Rudd is on call during his working hours at the Three Willows Garden Centre in Bungay and said that his employers were very supportive about it.

“There is no set rota; if people are available they can go on call. Then the ambulance service phones up directly or leaves them a message,” he said.

“We currently have two in Bungay and four in Beccles, but the more the merrier – there is no upper limit.

The responders are usually called to help with the cardiac arrest equipment they are given, but Mr Rudd said that a lot of their work was reassurance, with as many as 50 to 60 jobs in a month in Bungay.

To find out more information or register an interest, call 01954 712400 between 9am and 5pm.

Further information is available from www.eastamb.nhs.uk/community-first-responders.htm

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