If Lincolnshire didn’t have us, they would miss us. That’s the verdict of LIVES Marketing and Fundraising officer Stephen Hyde as he reflects on a busy year for the volunteer service.
In November alone, the Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service attended more than 1,500 call outs in support of East Midlands Ambulance Service. During 2013, volunteers were called out across the county over 15,000 times to those in need of medical assistance.
LIVES has over 640 first responder volunteers on the books across the whole of Lincolnshire and a further 54 active medics who volunteer as part of the service.
Stephen said: “We aren’t just here to get there before the ambulance crew does.
“When they arrive we can help take equipment out of their vehicle, liaise with relatives or make sure that the house is secured if they need to be taken to hospital. Lincolnshire needs LIVES, there’s no doubt about it.
“With the layout and road network in the county it’s vital that responders in rural areas can get to people who need us. You can never have too many volunteers either.”
Anyone wishing to become a first responder for LIVES must undergo a three day training course as well as spending time with their local volunteer group.
“We don’t just throw people out into the deep end when they join us,” Stephen added. “We have ongoing training and then you sign on to the rota for your area as and when you are available - we don’t force people to spend time volunteering for us.
“There may only be 20 or 30 call outs a year in the rural villages, but it’s important that we are there.”
When asked about the future of the organisation Stephen said: “We have plans for expansion, but unfortunately we have a funding shortfall. We want to be able to send medics to roadside collisions, we need to have responders who are fully trained and equipped.
“For 2014 we are very keen for people to volunteer for us as fundraisers. They could make a massive difference to our organisation.”
If you are interested in volunteering for LIVES visit the website www.lives.org.uk