7 March 2014 - #Team999 introduces vital support

A volunteer from Lancashire is the face of North West Ambulance Service's new public education initiative - #Team999.

Simon Doyle, aged 38, from Sabden, Lancashire, volunteers as a Community First Responder (CFR) for the Service. His role involves responding to emergencies in the local vicinity, providing help to patients before paramedics arrive.

A chemical engineer by day, Simon became a volunteer to help friends, neighbours and the local community when they need it most.

In a new short film available on NWAS' YouTube channel, released as part of the #Team999 campaign, he explains the difference CFRs can make for patients suffering from life threatening conditions, which account for 67 per cent of incidents attended by responders.

CFRs are dispatched 36 times a day, on average, and most commonly attend patients with chest pains, followed by unconscious patients and those with breathing problems.

Carrying a defibrillator means CFRs are equipped to help in cardiac arrest situations where time really does mean the difference between life and death.

Simon said: "I'm really pleased to be part of the #Team999 to help people understand what CFRs are and what we can do to help.

"People I know think that I'm mad for getting up at all times of the night, but they are happy to know that me and the other CFRs are there if they ever need us.

"The best part of the role is knowing that I can make a difference to someone else's life before the ambulance arrives. It is very rewarding but can also be challenging; training with your local team is vital to keep your skills up to date."

The #Team999 campaign helps people to understand what they can expect from NWAS and that calling 999 does not always result in an ambulance response or a trip to hospital.