The pride in life of a community responder

Paul Brown, Southwater responder
Paul Brown, Southwater responder

A Southwater Responder has expressed the feeling of pride he gets from saving people’s lives just by making himself available in his community.

As a community first responder Paul Brown, 39, of Blakes Farm Road, saves people who have fallen ill in his village and he believes one of the best parts of the job, is meeting ‘amazing’ people.

“The jobs that stick in my mind are ones where we have been to an elderly person who’s fallen.

“You meet amazing people through that. Just being there to console is one of the most rewarding parts - offering support and comforting.”

The father of two said sometimes people seem to worry that responders are sent as a replacement for paramedics.

“When you call for an ambulance you expect a big minibus and people wearing green and in a stressful situation it can be a shock.

“We are not a replacement for the ambulance we provide the initial first aid [in cases] which can be fatal, such as in a heart attack.”

The aim of responders is to provide 24-hour service and there are currently four responders on call in Southwater with each putting in two to four hours each week.

Responders have training nights once a month and reflection assessments every six to 12 months and the time is well spent in Paul’s mind.

“We are going to people who are dying so it doesn’t seem like much time to have to put in.

“I’m proud of the scheme. I think we are making a big difference to the community.”

The immediate care provided by the responders is essential - In the case of a heart attack, early recognition of the condition can increase the patient’s chance of survival by five per cent. early CPR increases it by ten per cent and early defibrillation - an electric shock apparatus carried by responders - increases it by 75 per cent.

To find out more visit www.southwaterresponders.org