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Volunteer first responders saving lives

PUBLISHED: 15:54 30 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:54 30 June 2010

A volunteer first responder could make the difference between life and death.

Since 2006 when the lifeline service was set up at least two people are walking around Great Yarmouth who wouldn't be alive without them.

A volunteer first responder could make the difference between life and death.

Since 2006 when the lifeline service was set up at least two people are walking around Great Yarmouth who wouldn't be alive without them.

Motivated only by the desire to help people and make a difference a team of ordinary people - most of whom already have demanding jobs - provide back-up to the ambulance service and paramedics.

They go anywhere within an eight minute response time using defibrillators to resuscitate heart attack victims or simply chatting to panicking patients before the ambulance arrives.

In Ormesby, firefighter Darryl Brennand wants to raise money for a new volunteer. He is part of a team of five who are on call for a stretch taking in Broadland and a host of holiday camps from Sea Palling to Caister.

Mr Brennand, 43, of Appleton Drive, is planning a major fundraiser with Moments of Scratby.

He hopes local businesses would contribute to the appeal to buy a £1,200 defibrillator for the teams who work local fetes and carnivals providing first aid cover and manning their own charity stalls to raise funds and awareness.

Father of two Mr Brennand responded three times on Monday to Martham and Hemsby and has used the defibrillator twice in the last few months. Every callout was different he said ranging from cardiac arrests to breathlessness.

“I like helping people. That is why I am a firefighter,” he said. “I like to go out and make a difference. Everyone can do the training and pass it but not everyone can carry it out face to face. Sometimes just sitting and talking to someone will be enough.

“We all have full-time jobs and respond when we can. It is a busy scheme and we need more people.”

The event at Moments on Monday, July 12, will offer tables for four at £25 a head for a three-course meal including a bottle of wine. Donations of raffle prizes are also needed. Contact Moments on 01493 732126. To donate raffle prizes call Mr Brennand on 07868 843159.

To find out about becoming a first responder contact the East Anglian Ambulance headquarters on 01284 731802.

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