Members of Southwell Community First Resonders were delighted to receive 3 Gold Awards at the recent East Midlands Responders Conference. The Award is presented to volunteers, who achieve over 1,000 hours of service and was given to Mario Stankovic, Hilda Orme and Malcolm Kirk.

Mario, Hilda and Malcolm are 3 of the 5 local volunteers who respond to category A calls, relating to heart and breathing difficulties, received by East Midlands Ambulance Service. Living locally they can be at the scene within a few minutes and render assistance prior to the ambulance arriving.

These timings proved vital when local resident, Roland Malkin suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in September. Malcolm was able to get to his house within 4 minutes and fit the defibrillator.

“I had no previous heart issues and was in fact in training for the Robin Hood half marathan,’ explained Roland “Fortunately I am expected to make a full recovery and am so grateful for the life-saving techniques applied by Malcolm that evening.”

The Group is appealing for more volunteers to come forward and help them in this vital work. The group responds to heart and breathing incidents only, not trauma or accidents. No experience is necessary and full training will be given. The Group is on call in pairs on a rota system from 8am-10pm each day. As a volunteer you only need to commit to a minimum of 4 hours on call per week. For more details please contact Mario on 01636 814494.

Prior to Malcolm’s arrival Roland’s wife, Sara had been administrating CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation), which also proved critical to his recovery.

In the UK over 30,000 cardiac arrests happen out of hospital and less than one in ten survive. The British Heart Foundation has recently launched its ‘Nation of Lifesavers’ campaign, encouraging as many people as possible to learn these life-saving techniques. They have developed a Call Push Rescue Training Kit, which can be obtained for free by all secondary schools and community groups.

To order a kit visit www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/nation-of-lifesavers.aspx

There is also a petition on the site calling for CPR to become part of the national curriculum.