100,000th call to save LIVES for town charity

FROM emergency calls to deal with heart attacks, to those made accidentally my pets – LIVES First Responders have seen a lot in their pursuit of saving lives across the county.

Now the organisation, based in Horncastle, has just received its 100,000th emergency call - to a man suffering with chest pains in the Horsington area.

“Thankfully this had a very successful outcome,” said Stephen Hyde, LIVES marketing and fundraising officer.

LIVES attend about 15,000 calls a year – dealing with anything from breathing difficulties, heart attacks, fits, strokes and falls.

Mr Hyde said: “One of the strangest calls we had was to a warden control bungalow. The emergency chord had been pulled which automatically activated the phone and but there was no response from the resident.

“Our responders rushed around to the home only to find the owner was out and a cat walking around with the chord around its leg.”

Another memorable emergency call with a happy ending was for a woman who had fainted.

When the new male responder got to the scene he found she was pregnant and he had to help deliver the baby.

“This was one of his first calls so it must have been an eye-opening experience for him.” said Mr Hyde.

LIVES dates back to 1975 when it a GP-run organisation. In 1999 it was developed so members of the public could train to use the defibrillators to provide early response to patients before emergency services arrived.

It is a role which has many benefits for the responder, with the satisfaction that comes from being able to help people and to save lives.

However, while the organisation is successful in recruiting about 300 new people a year, some 200 of these are lost - mainly through changes to personal circumstances.

“It’s a constant battle to recruit more first responders,” said Mr Hyde. “We have 152 separate groups and 21 co-responder groups operating out of retained fire stations, but we are forever trying to get new people on board.”

He added: “More volunteers are needed in the Horncastle area and all areas across the east coast of the county, so we would be very pleased to hear from anyone interested in joining us.”

l Free training is given to all first responders. For more information call 01507