25 August 2017 - You Could be the Hero Next Door

LLL_7350We all have kind neighbours but what’s the kindest thing a neighbour could do? Save a life?

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is on the look-out for heroes all across the North West to join a life-saving team of community first responders (CFRs) and become the ‘Hero Next Door.’

CFRs are ordinary people who do extraordinary things as volunteers for the ambulance service. They find the time to save the lives of their neighbours whilst going about their normal routines.

David McNally, Community Resuscitation Manager for NWAS said: “We rely on our community first responders to not help us save lives but also to just be there for our patients and be a reassuring face. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.

“The idea of the Hero Next Door campaign is to let people know that volunteers can go about their everyday lives and have no other connection to healthcare but still find time to be a hero!”

The new social media campaign using the hashtag #HeroNextDoor launched today, 25 August, with a special event in Burnley to find the ‘North West’s safest street.’

Community first responders and staff from NWAS pitched up near Gilbert Street in Burnley to teach life-saving skills to as many people as possible meaning that everybody on the street knows what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest.

The team managed to teach over 50 CPR superheroes in three hours, skills which people will be able to be pass onto their friends and families making sure as many people as possible could be potential life-savers.

From nursery school children to Mary at the grand age of 91, the whole community got involved to learn the life-saving skills as well as get a high-five with the Trust’s mascot, Pandamedic and take a look around an emergency ambulance.

When a person goes into cardiac arrest, their chance of survival drops by 10% for every minute that they are left without CPR and defibrillation, showing just how important it is for people in the local community to know how to help.

Mark Jarnell, Community First Responder for NWAS, said:  “Working as a CFR allows me to give back to my community and be there for people in their hour of need. I simply sign on when I’m available, whether that be in between appointments at work or when I’m at home watching the telly.

“The best part for me is after a busy call-out, the relative or patient simply saying thank you.”

Community first responders can be called upon to attend incidents such as cardiac arrest as well as other emergency situations, and possibly being closer to the patient than an ambulance they are able to start life-saving treatment as quickly as possible.

Only required to commit a few hours per week, a CFR could be anyone over the age of 18 and doesn’t require any previous training.

Visit www.nwas.nhs.uk/volunteer to find out more.